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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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March 24, 2008 9:52 AM

A look at Pac-10's double losing seasons

Posted by Bob Condotta

The realization a few days ago that this is the first time in 50 years UW has suffered losing records in football and men's basketball (thanks to this note from Seth Kolloen over at Enjoy the Enjoyment ) led to some other inevitable questions.

Specifically, when's the last time that's happened for every other team in the conference?

So during some NCAA Tournament down time --- they really didn't show that Britney Spears commercial often enough --- I did a little research.

Here's the list, and the parameters are that the losing seasons happen during the same academic year, meaning 2007 football season, 2007-08 basketball basketball season, etc.

We'll put them in order of most recent:

Washington 2007-08 (4-9 football, 16-17 basketball)
Washington State 2005-06 (4-7, 11-17)
Oregon State 2005-06 (5-6, 13-18)
Arizona State 2003-04 (5-7, 10-17)
UCLA 2003-04 (6-7, 11-17)
Cal 1997-98 (3-8, 12-15)
Oregon 1993-94 (5-6, 10-17)
Stanford 1985-86 (4-7, 14-16)
USC 1983-84 (4-6-1, 11-20)
Arizona 1980-81 (5-6, 13-14)

Obviously this is a bad time for UW right now.

On the bright side for UW fans, the Huskies had a streak 23 years longer than anyone else in the conference avoiding the double el foldo before this season.

The next step would be to figure out how many times all those other schools did it during the 50 years the Huskies went without doing it once. I may save that for the Sweet 16 commercial breaks.

I do know this --- UCLA also did it just once during that span. UCLA has had only two losing basketball seasons since 1946, and had a losing record in football only one of those two, the one mentioned above.

I also know USC did it just once during that span, the 1983-84 season refererenced above. Interestingly, USC also did it during the same 1957-58 academic year when the Huskies last had losing records in both (and what an anamalous year that was as it is also the last time Oregon State won titles in both sports).

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Posted by nick

11:51 AM, Mar 24, 2008

evidence that the uw has the worst athletics program in the pac10. thanks for the research bob. How people defend these coaches is beyond me. It didnt fly at WSU as they fired doba, the coach before dick benette and dick benette himself also got fired for his losing!!

Posted by MelloDawg

11:51 AM, Mar 24, 2008

Interesting research Bob.

On a football note, what about the first time 3 consecutive losing seasons has happened and the coach at that time?

His name rhymes with Gwyrone Bwillingham

Posted by Husky Fan In New York

12:11 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Mellow, can you break down UW's 2008 football schedule and predict a record? And then what you think the AD will do after the season?

I happen to think UW will win at least 6 regular season games and Ty will be extended one year (if he loses a lower bowl game) or 2+ (if he wins a lower bowl game or really does well and wins at least 8 total games, including bowl game).

I'm more of a UW optimist than a Willingham optimist and it's tough to keep a great program down for too long. The main reasons why UW did not do well last year were an atrocious defense, Locker completing only 47% of his passes and throwing 15 INTs, and poor special teams coverage/returns. Well, Jake has a year of starting under his belt (I bet he'll complete at least 55% of his passes and throw for more TDs than INTs his 2nd year starting) and the coaches chiefly responsible for the other two issues were canned.

In sum, those big 3 reasons are why I'm focusing on 2008 (and 2009 as whoever the coach is, the team will go to a good bowl) and not 3 years that are in the past. Continually harping on the last 3 years isn't going to change what happened during them so beating the subject to death is of little use. No one is happy with the last 3 years (5 including Gilby), but it's time to focus on spring ball, the 2008 season, and the future of the program.

Posted by pattapit

12:22 PM, Mar 24, 2008

I love all the bashers... TW is not competetive, TW doesn't have a winning record. etc etc.

No other football coach can say they took over the worst husky football team ever. Then after a couple years took on one the hardest schedule ever. Maybe not such a smart decision, but none the less remained competetive in almost every game, and besides the sour taste left by the AZ and WSU games, not really that bad of a season when you look at how many games we remained in and who we played.

I've been very adament about supporting him and giving him at LEAST this upcoming year. If we don't show progress and lose to WSU I will bail ship on him.

Remember, the grass is always greener on the other side. Look at his replacement at ND, the heralded Wies. Played with TW's recruits and did great, but then got his in there and is garbage. I would not wish that coach on anyone but WAZZU, OR, or ND.

Posted by UWHuskies#1

12:55 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Very well said pattapit, I agree 100%

Posted by Romarville86

1:02 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Nick I wasn't aware that Dick Bennett was fired, I always thought he stepped down and retired and let his son take over

Posted by MelloDawg

1:08 PM, Mar 24, 2008


Don't get me wrong, I'm a gigantic UW optimist as well. We have the talent to go 2-1 in OOC play and then even 5-4 in conference play, giving us 7-6 for the year.

Does that merit an "extension"? I don't know about that one, but MAYBE a 5th year, it depends on who the AD ends up being. People will say it'll hurt recruiting if we have kids visiting the program and are unsure about the future of Willingham after 2009, but I'm not sold on that. There were enough kids who committed THIS year who committed to the school and not to Tyrone Willingham.

I get the sinking feeling that 6 wins will be enough to retain him even if he doesn't go to a bowl and then this blog will again be taken over by people calling me a bad fan and clearly an idiot for not understanding college athletics.



Agreed in regards to him needing to win THIS year. That's all I ask from Ty supporters. Those who feel he gets his 5th year REGARDLESS of next year's outcome have lowered their expectations to the point where they've forgotten what UW football means.

Posted by HuskyInLondon

1:33 PM, Mar 24, 2008


I have posted the same response on several occasions and I guess it warrants me stating it again. The measure of any university of higher education that also has athletic programs must always rate academic accomplishments (graduation rates) before W&L's on the football field. I can say I have more pride in Ty's ability to recruit student-athletes that exemplify amateurism than thugs that play 1 or 2 yrs at the said marquee programs.

I have a cousin that is University of Texas alum that is embarrassed about the recent troubles of football players and would gladly give back their 6 10-win seasons for higher caliber players (Oklahoma can have all the convicts, ibid.). There should be higher standards placed on the UW since our university can afford to have competitive athletics and high academic standards. These should not be mutually exclusive and should demand a coach who believes in this fundamental tenant of amateur athletics. I believe we have this coach in house and that anything short of supporting him while he is our coach is counter-productive.

Husky In London

Posted by Dave

1:54 PM, Mar 24, 2008

London, you say that graduation rates are more important than W's and L's. I'm sorry but I just disagree. Are graduation rates UNimportant, no, are there other things that are essential to the program, yes, but if W's and L's aren't the most important metric of success then we shouldn't be in the Pac-10.

Posted by MelloDawg

2:05 PM, Mar 24, 2008


I agree with you that academics comes first, but we have to be realistic about today's college athletics. Can you really say that a booster would base his donation to a football program on how high the graduation rate is? As unfortunate as it may sound, college athletics is about wins and losses. I agree that we need kids of high character and no thugs in the program, I think we can still do that and have a coach who will lead us to UW-caliber football, both molding the character of his players and improving the quality of the football team.

I'm sure there are fans of the best programs, your UT friend for example, who would gladly trade wins for academics, but I honestly believe they are in the minority. As long as the transgressions in the classroom or off the field don't become a massive distraction, I think many fans are willing to accept certain moral shortcomings of the team.

Posted by HuskyInLondon

2:31 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Dave & Mello,

I agree that in a purely athletic setting win and losses are the only measure of success. That is why we have professional leagues such as NFL, MLB and NBA. However, the only true measuring stick for a premier public institution of learning is one that can compete in the classroom as well as the field (football, baseball, basketball, volleyball and track - many other sports I have not mentioned but are just as important).

As graduates we should rejoice in the accomplishments our university enjoys, not only being one of the premier locations for cancer research but also the education of future teachers. I emphatically respond to alumni from the UofM, UT (Texas not Tennessee) and University of Maryland that we all share the burden of being state run institutions of higher learning, and that we all strive for excellence in athletic competition. This shared belief is what bonds us and the ability to state that my football coach shares this commitment as a badge of honor. Don't discount this attribute as an inadequacy but an advantage in the tough recruiting trail.

Husky in London

Posted by Husky Fan In New York

2:38 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Mellow, we largely agree on the record then. If Ty wins 6 regular reason games, I think he should be extended a year (with or without a bowl). After all we've gone through, it would be tough to let him go into the off-season as a lame-duck coach after going 6-6 and being Lockered and Loaded for 2009 as another great recruiting class and gunning for the Rose/Holiday in 2009 is the plan.

Posted by Mutt

5:28 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Academics is academics, football is football, if academics is more important then we don't need one point five million dollar coach.
If people want football just for the fun of it, yes anybody will do....I do believe people need to make up their minds on what they want, a hundred Bill Gates playing football at the UW,or in some case's, not so smart athletics?

Posted by MelloDawg

5:42 PM, Mar 24, 2008


Typo on my part, obviously his record would need to be 7-5. The only problem is that if we extend him and then he goes 5-7 the next year or completely flops once the team loses some depth, we're locked in with him for a while.

It's tricky. I'd like to believe that a completely different staff will revamp the way he coaches and his approach DURING games, but 13 years of evidence suggests that it will not. An 8-4 season could just as easily be followed by a 5-7 season. Of course that's just conjecture and maybe unfair to say, but I know I sure liked 25+ consecutive non-losing seasons. I'd like to get a streak like that going again.

Posted by Steve C.

6:10 PM, Mar 24, 2008

"The measure of any university of higher education that also has athletic programs must always rate academic accomplishments (graduation rates) before W&L's on the football field."

And with the NCAA slated to start taking scholies from programs not graduating their athlete-students (note the order), winning and maintaining academic standards might end up being quite compatible after all.

Posted by mutt

9:38 PM, Mar 24, 2008

I think kids getting a good education is very important, I'm a prime example of one who didn't and paid for it.
But I don't like organization such as the, NAACP, ALCU, Gay rights, women's rights, Illegal Mexican rights, Drug user's rights, Equal rights, Affirmative action rights, rich over poor rights, I'm pretty your ugly rights, annnnd..I don't like foreign Born people getting educated here thinking we're scum, but stay for the money!
All of this bull is creeping into all segment of our country, life, including football, who should play who shouldn't, Oh can't forget the counselor's, we all need them to tell us what to eat, marry, plays to run, ...think I hear taps .

Posted by Dave

9:50 PM, Mar 24, 2008

BTW London you are a great Dawg fan and it's fun to have your contributions from abroad. That said, I call shenanigans on this alleged UT alum who would seriously give back the Longhorns' last 6 years and would have all their players attending their most bitter rival instead, so they can have a higher moral tone. Such a person if he or she exists cannot possibly be a serious football fan.

Posted by BoiseTruth

10:44 PM, Mar 24, 2008

"Nine Things To Look Forward To This Spring" -- Realdawg

Posted by DJ's a Quitter

11:38 PM, Mar 24, 2008

Blah, blah, blah.......So now you're an academic institution? Yeah right! Well, I guess if Coach James takes his ball and hides under his wifes skirt that make the UW an academic institution? Perhaps the Big Sky will let you play there?

Posted by Seattle Duck

1:24 AM, Mar 25, 2008

Oregon State's double title in 57-58 were the with Terry Baker, the NW only Heisman winner. He also was a starter on the Basketball and baseball teams.

Posted by Bob Condotta

8:39 AM, Mar 25, 2008

Actually, Baker was just a little bit later than that, winning the Heisman in 1962. OSU was good during that era, as well, but not pulling off a double title during his time.

Posted by Mutt

8:54 AM, Mar 25, 2008

Being some what of a conspiracy junkie, I find it odd that almost all of the top dogs in collage football
are now on the bottom, UW, Mime ND, Michigan Ohio st, and I'm sure I've missed a few others.
I just find it funny we all got hosed around the same time....a year or so apart.
If I'm correct....that means collages and their football programs can be manipulated at the whim of the NCAA. Oh well, Osama Bin Linden for President hip hip hooray.

Posted by Dave

9:04 AM, Mar 25, 2008

Uh, mutt, you do know that Ohio State was in the national championship game three of the last six years, and will be preseason top five this coming year, right?

Posted by mutt

11:33 AM, Mar 25, 2008

OK Dave crucify me!

Posted by pattapit

11:42 AM, Mar 25, 2008

mutt means alabama in his theory not ohio state


I believe in progress...

Each year he has progressed and almost doubled his wins (save last year hardest schedule in the nation) Now if we can go 7-8 wins and get a bowl that is progress and TW stays.
If we cannot muster a bowl going 5-6 wins and beating WAZZU that is progress and he stays... Anytime we beat WAZZU used to be considered a victory remember?

That good taste at the end of the year bar we don't get less than 5 victories and he will stay as head coach.

Posted by MelloDawg

11:58 AM, Mar 25, 2008


Well, I won't slam your post, but if I interpret it to say that Willingham should stay by going 5-7 and beating WSU, then we grossly disagree.


I mean, I guess that's sort of progress over Year 1.

Posted by pattapit

12:22 PM, Mar 25, 2008

Look I am a bigga husky fan as they come. My family is all huskies, I have been a season ticket holder myself since the 90's when I went to college and always had my uncles tickets when he played.
But I'm a little confused. besides the 60s and the early 90s, we were not a "football powerhouse" I mean we were always good, always go to bowl games, go to the rosebowl at least once a decade. but the expectations I'm reading about on this board think it should be Nat Champ, Nat. Champ, Nat. Champ, Myabe just in the running have and off year, Nat. Champ.

As long as I can remember husky nation has been satisfied with going to a bowl game and beating WAZZU.

My expectations going into last year was get 6-8 wins and a bowl. we didn't quite live up to that because we played the toughest schedule in the nation. I just take console in the fact that we were cometative and played good enough for those 6-8 wins against those caliber teams. It was just a major blow to lose to WAZZU at the end. I do not change my expectations this year, I want 6-8 bowl and beat WAZZU. This year the playing competetive and almost winning factor goes out the window I want results and to beat WAZZU. If we do not make the bowl this year I will start to have my doubts but will not bail ship unless we are under 5 wins. The win against WAZZU would probably be enough good feeling at the end of the season to allow him another year.

I cannot change my expectations to National Champ every year until we make the leap to bowl caliber, Mello you are just to unrealistic.

Posted by Dave

12:33 PM, Mar 25, 2008

Nobody expects national champ every year pattapit. While it would be awesome to get another one someday and I hope we do, I for one do not need the Huskies ever to win the national championship again to be satisfied.

What we do expect though is to go to a bowl every year and go 8-5/9-4 most years. Those are not crazy expectations for a school like UW.

Posted by pattapit

1:55 PM, Mar 25, 2008


let me say we are on the same page ...

I mean we were always good, always go to bowl games, go to the rosebowl at least once a decade.........As long as I can remember husky nation has been satisfied with going to a bowl game and beating WAZZU. "

This is where I want to be. Then start worrying about the rest. But I do not expect instant success, we are now getting to the point where another losing season without the toughest schedule in the nation is backwards progress and need to start addressing these issues, TW should get an ample timeframe to build a foundation and run with it. He has built the foundation... let's see what he does now, not call for his head.

I think most of us are at this point, but now it's a fine line to walk. unfotunately i believe that too many of us have fallen to the other side and he is not getting the respect and support that he deserves.

Posted by Beat Down Husky Fan

2:16 PM, Mar 25, 2008

Anybody know Toad Turner's new e-mail address? I would love to forward this article to him so he can include it in his resume to whatever school is foolish enough to intervew him for lavoratory attendent! Oh, and don't forget Barbara Hedges, give credit where credit is due.

Posted by Dave

2:34 PM, Mar 25, 2008

good words pattapit, that is a solid position

btw, who was your uncle? anybody famous?

Posted by MelloDawg

2:51 PM, Mar 25, 2008


Yeah I know we had a tough schedule, but you're aware we went 2-1 in OOC play, right? People went nuts because we had Ohio St and Boise State, losing the former but winning the latter.

Other than that, Pac-10 play is Pac-10 play. Ty will see these teams every year so luckily for him, there are supporters of his which will ALWAYS say we have a hard schedule. This is completely ignoring the fact we lost to a horrible Arizona and horrible WSU team at HOME last year (having gave up 1,000yds total I believe).

I mean, this makes sense, right? Our schedule is ALWAYS going to be tough unless we schedule a Portland St or Idaho all the time and that's not what we do.

Look at this year, we play Oklahoma, BYU, and Notre Dame, arguably a tougher schedule than last year (Notre Dame > Syracuse, in my opinion). Do we use the schedule excuse AGAIN for Willingham? What if he goes 1-2 in OOC play but beats Oklahoma? Is THAT a success against a tough schedule because we beat a national powerhouse?

The guy just can't seem to lose with some folks.

Posted by pattapit

3:49 PM, Mar 25, 2008

Posted in the wrong section.... REPOST
my uncle is uncle hewie.... know who it is dawg fans? (answer at bottom)

Obviously, our schedule will be tough every year. But NEVER have I seen a team play that many top 10 teams when they were currently ranked in the top 10.

I already gave you the AZ and WAZZU games... ready my post. They were disgusting and a disgrace, and I believe that's where the ugly sour taste in my mouth came from, because if you get rid of those two games (before those two games) I was feeling pretty good at how competetive we were playing. Another point about those games even though we gave up all those yards and points, we were still in those games.

Again, read my posts, I told you that the moral victories and playing competetive isn't going to fly with me this season. I demand success and a bowl game. If he does play competetively and almost makes it along with a WAZZU win, it might keep me from jumping ship, but it will be a tough call. I will be at the point that all the "hasty huskies" were when they started the Willingham coaching hot seat debate at the end of last season.

I just really don't believe we've given him adequate time to axe him yet.

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