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

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June 10, 2008 3:01 PM

Steele says UW's schedule toughest in the nation

Posted by Bob Condotta

A couple of months ago when I ranked the Pac-10's schedules for the 2008 season in order of their difficulty, some of you chided me for not listing UW No. 1.

Looks like you guys have an ally in Phil Steele, whose rankings of the toughest schedules in the nation this season is now available on his website.

Steele rates UW's schedule this season --- consisting of home non-conference games against BYU, Oklahoma and Notre Dame and five Pac-10 road games --- as the most difficult in the country.

Steele gives a pretty lengthy explanation of his thought process in general (probably a little too lengthy, actually) but doesn't really go into detail about UW's schedule in particular. Mostly, he ranks the schedules based on how he has ranked their opponents this season and doesn't just look at won-loss record of a year ago (and he's definitely right there about putting too much weight on what happened a year ago).

Here's how he sees the Pac-10 in terms of difficulty of schedule:

1, Washington (1st in nation)
2, Oregon State (5th)
3, UCLA (6th)
4, Stanford (14th)
5, USC (21st)
6, Washington State (28th)
7, Oregon (33rd)
8, Cal (38th)
9, Arizona State (40th)
10, Arizona (57th)

To be accurate, I did my rankings solely on the basis of the non-conference schedule. I had USC --- which hosts Notre Dame and Ohio State and goes on the road to play Virginia --- No. 1, with the Huskies No. 2. It's admittedly a tough call --- I basically put USC first since it has to go on the road once while UW is home for all of its non-conference games but I don't argue that BYU is a better team than Virginia (the other two games in the non-conference slates for the two teams are a wash).

But no doubt that including all games gives UW a tougher schedule than the Trojans. USC's conference schedule, in fact, is pretty favorable, despite having five games on the road. USC will host Oregon, Arizona State and Cal --- usually regarded as teams 2-4 in the conference this year --- as well as UW, while going on the road to play the other five teams, most of whom are generally considered to finish near the bottom.

UW's conference schedule may be as difficult as anybody's as the Huskies go to USC, Cal, Oregon --- all generally being picked to be three of the top four teams in the conference this year --- as well as Arizona and Washington State while hosting ASU, UCLA, Stanford and Oregon State.

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June 10, 2008 10:58 AM

Another possible AD candidate UPDATED

Posted by Bob Condotta

Here's a new name I'd heard earlier this week could be on UW's list of potential athletic director candidates --- Craig Angelos of Florida Atlantic University.

However, Angelos today told the South Florida Sun-Sentinal he has had no contact with UW. (And since he has said that, I have amended this post to reflect those comments).

Angelos' name made a lot of sense because he was recently one of six finalists for the LSU AD job that went instead to Joe Alleva of Duke.

LSU used the same search firm that UW has hired --- Parker Executive Search of Atlanta --- and Angelos is said to be regarded as an up-and-comer (he's listed as 42 in his bio) who is often on the lists provided by Parker. And anyone reading this knows well the LSU ties of those now in command at UW.

We continue to hear conflicting reports on Utah's Chris Hill, who has been rumored to be a candidate from the start. Hill was a finalist for the job in 2004 and sources said he was actually offered the job before turning it down. He has said publicly several times of late that he is not a candidate for the UW job. However, a couple of sources have told us Hill may have spoken with UW, or the search firm, about the position in recent days. One source told us today that the word making the rounds among other ADs is that "Chris Hill is supposed to get that job.''

There continues to be no official word from anyone at UW about the AD search other than that the search committee is working hard, etc. This is the final week of school and as such marks the end of what was the unofficial timeline for making a hire. But UW officials have said there is no hard-and-fast deadline other than making sure a new hire is in place by the beginning of the football season.

A few other things I've heard:

--- Another name one source mentioned is Tulsa AD Bubba Cunningham, who was also recently in the running at Duke.

--- USC senior associate AD Steve Lopes is thought not to be in the running any longer, according to one source, though Lopes has not been available for comment.

--- Another source said UW has interviewed, or will interview, UTEP AD Bob Stull, but that Stull is not thought to be the favorite for the job. The El Paso Times has this report on Stull and UW.


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June 10, 2008 9:56 AM

Tuesday link-o-rama

Posted by Bob Condotta

So what does "o-rama?'' mean, anyway? Just seems to fit, I guess. On to the links. ...

---- Here's an interesting post from BruinZone.com via the LA Times UCLA blog with some entertaining comments from Rick Neuheisel at a recent auction. Neuheisel first apparently vowed to let the winner call the first play against USC next year (while whispering that the coaches will have the right to call an audible). Later, he said the winner of another auction for a trip to the UW game could stand next to him on the sidelines. "If you know my history at UDub, I need somebody next to me in case they want to throw debris,'' he is reported as saying. (By the way, I won't often link to message board posts, but this was already on the LA Times site, and it sounds so much like Neuheisel that I have little doubt he said those things).

--- Pete Thamel of The New York Times has this post speculating whether the change in commissioners at the Pac-10 as well as the departures of a few others who were against a college football playoff will change anything. His conclusion is the same one I voiced here yesterday --- that while it's popular to blame one guy for such things, commissioners are almost always just articulating the opinions of the presidents of the conference in which they serve. A new Pac-10 commissioner isn't suddenly going to change a whole lot if the presidents of the 10 schools don't want to go along. Hansen's an easy target, but this stuff is a lot more complicated than one person.

--- Jon Wilner's College Hotline has this look at the Pac-10 TV sked announced yesterday, pegging Sept. 13 as the best couch potato day of the season. He also says he plans to soon blog about potential replacements for Hansen. I like one that a poster mentioned --- Bill Moos. Karl Benson of the WAC is another logical one. Benson is a native of the state of Washington with deep ties to the area.

--- Scout.com has this look at the Washington Huskies from the perspective of the Oklahoma Sooners.

All for now.

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