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

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July 27, 2008 10:09 AM

July questions, take five

Posted by Bob Condotta

Yet another round:

Q: I wonder if you can explain to me why the college football world seems to feel that Arizona coach Mike Stoops deserves 5 years to get that program up to snuff, whereas Tyrone Willingham, with an even tougher yearly schedule, deserves only 4?

A: First off, I'd say your question assumes there is some monolithic "college football world'' out there making consensus decisions on this stuff. Obviously, the reality is each school makes its own decisions for its own reasons. I think all the same questions existed about Stoops heading into last year, his year four, as face Willingham this year. And he looked all but gone in mid-October before his team ralliled to win three in a row --- including a victory at UW and another over then No. 2-ranked Oregon --- followed with a tight loss in the season-ender at Arizona State. It was the second straight year Stoops' team had finished strong, giving fans and administration some reasons to think the program was headed in the right direction. Arizona has gone 11-13 the last two years overall, 8-10 in Pac-10 play, losing three games last year by three points or less (with the win over UW its only close victory). Given that Stoops took over a program in as bad a shape as UW's when Willingham arrived --- if not worse, given the fact that it plays second fiddle in its own state, a status Washington never really has no matter how bad things get in terms of the overall picture --- people there may be willing to give Stoops a little more benefit of the doubt than some might think Willingham is getting. Stoops also has had good relations with boosters there and Arizona has set records for ticket sales during his tenure, the latter something that is obviously not the case here, another thing that may be giving him some benefit of the doubt there. Given all of that, however, Stoops has to win this year to keep his job, the same circumstance facing Willingham.

Q: Just wondering any word on Jordan Murchison and J.R. Hasty. Did they transfer to other schools?

A: I've heard nothing on Murchison. And given that he also had some injury issues last spring, it might be possible he's done with football, though again, I haven't heard anything. He has just one year of eligibility left so he would have to play at a smaller-division school this season. Hasty is expected to end up at Central Washington, something that could become official in the next few days as like all teams, the Wildcats will begin practice soon. I know he is no longer enrolled at UW and has visited CWU a couple of times and has talked with coaches there, but nothing official had been announced yet as of late last week. Hasty will have two years of eligibility remaining at CWU and would be eligible to play this year (he would have to sit out this season if he transferred to a D-I school).

Q: Any update on season ticket sales?

A: I missed this on Friday, but one was helpfully provided for us by the UW Sports Information Department, which you can find here. In a nutshell, UW has sold 43,048 season tickets for this season after selling 43,516 last season. By this late in the game, season-ticket sales usually don't increase much so that number doesn't figure to go up a whole lot. As the release notes, the school will begin selling single-game tickets Monday. I would imagine those would go pretty well given the attractiveness of the scheduled this season, especially for the games against Oklahoma, Notre Dame, BYU and UCLA. Sales for games against the other teams will likely depend a little more on how the team is performing.

Q: What's the scoop on Anthony Boyles? He was a pretty highly rated WR out of HS, missed last year. How's he looking so far in respect to a starting spot?

A: As mentioned in the first post, questions about how guys are looking really can't be answered until practice starts. I think Boyles has made some good first impressions, however, with his attitude and work ethic. And he appears to have a good rapport with Jake Locker, something I noticed again during a summer workout I attended when the two did their lifting exercises together, Locker seeming to take particular delight in egging Boyles on to lift even more weight. Boyles participated in spring ball, but as should be expected of a true freshmen who hadn't played football in more than a year, he struggled at times. He had two catches for 14 yards in the spring game. One of his goals in the off-season was to add a little more weight --- he is listed at 190 but has said previously he would like to get to 205 or so. Given the team's need for immediate help at receiver, Boyles will certainly have a good shot at significant playing time this season though it's too soon to say whether he will be a starter.

All for now.

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