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Husky Football Blog

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

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July 11, 2008 9:23 AM

Friday links

Posted by Bob Condotta

A few links to send you into the weekend:

--- The Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook preview of Washington is now available on, though only if you have the Insider package (which I have due to the immense raise I've gotten for doing this blog!). It's an exhaustive preview, though for the die-hards it may not have a lot you don't know already. Most interesting in these things are the rankings and conclusions. Blue Ribbon gives UW's offense a B, the special teams a C-plus, the defense a C and the intangibles a C-plus. And in assessing Tyrone Willingham's future, the piece states "Bottom line: The Huskies probably have to win five home games to save Willingham's job, and that's a tough task. They should beat Washington State on the road, but after that, any road victory would be an upset.'' And it concludes with: "In the end, this team simply doesn't look much different than a year ago. The Huskies should be more competitive on a week-to-week basis, and the seven home games certainly help the cause, but wins could be hard to come by.''

--- Former UW beat colleague Ted Miller, now at ESPN, is adding posts to his blog more frequently than the Mariners lose. Among his latest entries is this one assessing the top five questions in the Pac-10 this season. Number two asks whether UW and Arizona can win enough to save the jobs of Willingham and Mike Stoops. Miller concludes that Arizona has a better chance, and that an 0-3 start --- UW won't be favored to win any of those games --- could doom the Huskies.

--- Miller also has his pre-season Pac-10 rankings with UW seventh. He also goes out on a limb with USC at No. 1.

--- Finally, Miller, who really should be working more on his golf game rather than doing all this darn blogging, has this look at what has happened to Washington "while you were on vacation.''

--- A Bleacher Report columnist (and boy are there a lot of those) says the Huskies could be one of the top five surprise teams in the country this season --- actually, he says they could be the third-biggest surprise. One minor glitch is that he writes UW could end up in the Independence Bowl., Thankfully for those of us who would get to attend UW's bowl game, the Pac-10 has no contract with the Independence Bowl and since it has deals with seven bowl games overall, the odds of a Pac-10 team ending up in something other than one affiliated with the conference are about as long as this sentence.

--- Jake Locker's appearance this week at a fund-raiser in Ferndale helped raise more than $7,000 for a children's organization.

--- Want more ammo that the Pac-10 really does schedule more manly than almost every other BCS conference? The Wizard of Odds supplies some good evidence with this breakdown of non-conference games sinice 1998 showing that the Pac-10 has played fewer home games than the other BCS conferences, and fewer games against I-AA foes (or whatever they are called these days by the NCAA) than any other conference in college football.

All for now.

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Posted by attakid117

10:07 AM, Jul 11, 2008

For a guy who has so much experience with the Husky program I figured there would be more to report in the "vacation" column than who WON'T be playing this year. Thanks Ted.

Posted by onewoodwacker

10:39 AM, Jul 11, 2008

Can't see UO knocking ASU out of the first or second spot. This is Erickson's second year now at ASU and this team will run the spread HIS way. That dear friends spells trouble for the PAC-10. I know the safe chic pick is USC but I'm not going to pick against ASU this time. Sorry Duck fans, it's the Sun Bowl "maybe" this year at best. ASU plays for it all - USC goes to the Roses - Cal goes on a Holiday and the Yuks go to El Paso to drown in the Rio Grande after another Bowl melt down..

Posted by doggiedog

Posted by cinreds08

10:56 AM, Jul 11, 2008

totally agree with (bleacher report) huskies will go to a bowl game and finish 6-6 or 7-5 and yes i see some upsets on their schedule wins: oregon,byu,wash. st,oregon st,arizona,stanford,cal,ucla.... loses: notre dame,ok,usc,arizona st

Posted by UW Alum

10:58 AM, Jul 11, 2008

Onewood, I like that you have the guts to pick against the norm however ASU has no chance of playing for it all, if they do, they'll have defeated Georgia at home and USC on the road and would likely be undefeated. Since USC hasn't even been able to finish undefeated in the pac 10 in the last two years with better talent than ASU has this year, I give the sun devils no chance of playing for it all, about a 10% chance of playing in the Rosebowl and a much better chance of ending up in the holiday or sunbowl themselves.

Posted by Husky Fan In New York

11:02 AM, Jul 11, 2008

From the previous thread, thanks to Gabe and Formerly Guest for the kind words. To try to answer what they asked:

I would be absolutely shocked if Chris Polk red-shirted, especially since he was on hand for spring ball. He can only be more familiar and thus more deadly after going through fall ball and knowing the playbook more. He could come onto the field and into the huddle and the DC and d-players wouldn't know if he'd line-up in the backfield or in the slot. Is he out in the slot and have a mismatch with a LB? Is he out in the slot with a safety on him but then could motion into the backfield if the defense is in a nickle? I'd love to see a 3 WR set with Goodwin, Logan, and Polk with a TE in and Homer in the backfield. Then, it could be a fullback dive/run with Homer, a FB screen to Homer, a screen to Polk, a fly sweep with Polk, or Polk could motion into the backfield and we could pound it with an I-formation or off-set I with Polk as RB and Homer as lead-blocker.

As for Jordan Polk, I just don't know. Maybe it depends on how he looks on special teams and how other guys do? Maybe also depends on how he holds up in fall ball, the WR competition, and if he needs to get bigger.

Formerly Guest, I was guessing that Kearse would RS because I have heard he's on the taller side and a little lanky. He's two inches taller than Bruns yet is only 10 pounds heavier. A 6'1 guy in my mind should be playing at 190 lbs as a WR, maybe even 200 if he has the body type. Bruns should be 175 lbs or so but from what I've gathered, he's much more experienced since he set all sorts of WA State receiving records and knows his craft quite well. A guy who catches everything, knows how to get open, and runs precise routes is invaluable on 3rd and medium (3rd and 4 to 3rd and 6/7).

Posted by

11:24 AM, Jul 11, 2008

Hey Bob,

when you do get a chance to get to the new players practice try to get a glance at Mangu and give us your impressions. I think hes going to be a big contributor in the next year or two.

Posted by Formerly Guest

12:21 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Thanks for your explanation on Bruns and Kearse.

Having watched a little of the spring game, it seems like the offensive focus was really on Polk, Goodwin, and Willie Griffin.

I too see Polk having a central, yet multidimensional role this year. He was the quickest Husky I have seen run the ball in several years-albeit it was the spring game against last year's lowest-ranked Pac-10 defense.

49 days until Autzen.

Posted by OlyDawg

12:22 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Don't know if anyone caught this a few weeks ago, but here's a video of Jordan Polk after the Oregon All State football game. Sounds like he had some sort of injury, likely not that serious since he played the entire game with it.

Bob, do you know if any California UW commits played in any post-season all star football games in June?

Posted by ja

12:27 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Don't worry Bob. We got your back homie!

Posted by Ducks 63-10 August 30th

12:52 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Interesting how some of you Husky fans delude yourself into thinking that some of these newcomers like Polk are going to become an instant Reggie Bush. Good Grief. Even Jonathan Stewart, who wisely left the Dawgs behind, took a year or so to develop. Freshman rarely become immediate stars.

Ummmm....Huskies predicted to be 7th in the Pac-10. I can hear it now when they leave Autzen with a loss.....OVER-RATED....OVER-RATED.

Posted by 2003 dawg

1:05 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Rumor has it, Nate Costa was at the children's fundraiser in Ferndale trying to get Locker's autograph.

Locker didn't recognize him.....

Posted by SnohomishRick

1:21 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Bob, What I would like to know , is who was EJ arm wrestling with? And if he isn't on the team, why not?

That has to be one strong s.o.b.

Posted by onewoodwacker

1:26 PM, Jul 11, 2008

HFNY - I saw Kearse at the West Central District Finals track meet at Mt Tahoms a few months ago. He is not the physical speciman one would expecollege Level strength.t for the publicity he received.(4 star). Not much should be made of that however as most of these kids are 17-18 years old. None of them are really strong. You see a few exceptions when a kid has spent countless hours in the weight room (Jonathan Stewart and Taylor Mays comes to mind) but most of these kids just don't have the time, the trainers but mostly the facilities to get them to College Level strength. Their footwork, awareness, shuttle time, 40 time, on field Football IQ and academics are what most recruiters are looking at for 95% of all the HS recruits.

Posted by onewoodwacker

1:29 PM, Jul 11, 2008

HFNY - Ok something happened to my post - must have hit a bad key. Sorry - hopefully you can make some understanding of that last post!!!

Posted by Huskies 63-10 August 30th

1:34 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Funny that a Duck would even mention the term 'over-rated'.

Posted by jim in eureka cal

1:44 PM, Jul 11, 2008

So Bob - What's happening with the Cal stadium. Is it still having problems getting started with the improvements the COACH wanted? He said he would leave if it wasn't a done deal. And we'll need a new coach at the end of this year.

Posted by Joe

2:19 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Missing a link in the last paragraph? I'd be interested to see the actual numbers.

Posted by Indiana Husky

3:09 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Not sure if anyone linked this yet, but here is a list of the cheapest shots in college football last year that includes two against Jake Locker:

Unfortunately, it's hard to imagine that he would take fewer cheap shots this year when he ought to be even more of a threat, especially with coaches like Pete Carrol claiming that his team's hit didn't even merit a flag.


Posted by Gabe

3:42 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Pretty amazing that Shareece Wright was not tossed for that intentional helmet to helmet hit out of bounds on the other team's quarterback. Trojans will always get the break. Can't blame Locker for that one since he ran out of bounds for once. This should not be forgotten. Just another reason Troy Must Be Destroyed (dullard ducks demolished)

Posted by

3:56 PM, Jul 11, 2008

The reason Duck is so familar with the term "OVERATED" is because every year when Oregon has there anual meltdown he hears that term ringing through his ears, like last year when he heard it at Arizona...

Did anyone catch Chris "Benedict Arnold" Chandler comments on how he roots for SD State now...what a sellout, it must be all those hits he took when he was with the Falcons that mangled his brain!!!!

Posted by Gabe

4:24 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Everything else aside, now that full-fledged practices will soon be here and Aug 30 will come up on the calendar in no time, it's nice to see everyone finally getting behind TW and giving him the benefit of the doubt. Whatever our views about the future, TW is the man in command today and that's why he earns the big bucks. He and his assistants deserve our complete support as they attempt to turn this supertanker of a program around. If we can just avoid those nasty rocks we'll end up with smooth sailing and great results. Troy Must Be Destroyed (deranged ducks demolished)

Posted by hsky69

4:30 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Atta boy Gabe,

Always appreciate your positive attitude!! (Ducks and Troy are the Evil Twins of Hell and Must Be Destroyed)

Posted by Indiana Husky

4:53 PM, Jul 11, 2008


I think I missed why you hate USC so much. Why do you?


Posted by MIKE

5:02 PM, Jul 11, 2008

One good thing about the sonics leaving is more funding for the most important team in the state.I moved here when I was a kid and quickly became a dawg. Always rooting for the underdog, it was the one team I could count on to be good. Always good. I almost felt guilty being a dawg fan. Now enough is enough. Lets get this thing turned around , build a new stadium, get the season started and kill those pretender ducks

Posted by Husky Fan In New York

6:04 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Heck yeah, MIKE. And I 2nd that, as soon as fall ball starts, I don't want to see anyone harping on Willingham. He is who the team is going to battle with so it's a moot point.

Will there be anything more anticipated than Locker's first throw and Donatell's first defensive play-call? Vic A on a safety, ring your bell boy.

Posted by old dawg

7:03 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Yes, HFNY...

Still, I'm looking forward to seeing Tolar, et al demonstrate to all that their job is to protect Jake, and all that implies.

Posted by

7:26 PM, Jul 11, 2008

I agree with everyone, can't wait for Aug. 30th not only to see what the Freshman are going to do, but to see Donatells new D-philosophy. I know when Greg Robinson a few years back went to Texas they really started to take off...

NY Husky...

I agree now that all of Tw's golfing dates are hopefully done for the summer we should put our support behind him, I wonder if he has a Digornio commericial or something to shoot though. But even you have to admit if we start out 0-3 the Dawgs are going to be out for blood..literally...

Posted by BoiseTruth

7:47 PM, Jul 11, 2008


The other day, you asked for suggestions on what type of things we'd like to see in the blog. Here's a link to a good example of the kind of stuff I can't get enough of. Notice that it's not about a star, it's about the unknown newcomers. We'd all like to know more about what type of people they are, and how they're getting along. What are their goals - their dreams, and how will they accomplish them?

Links are great. I check them all, but you're a good writer, and that's what you need to be. I say this with all due respect - you don't ever need to tell me again that it's June (or July). We know, that's why we look to you. It's also June (or July) for Ringo. We love ya Bob, thanks for everything.

Posted by discer

10:16 PM, Jul 11, 2008

Wow Bob, there's a certain kick in your step that's coming through in your writing.

Having an especially friendly spring?

Uh, anyways... go dawgs...

Posted by onewoodwacker

7:21 AM, Jul 12, 2008

Hey Boise -
Here's one of those stories yor're refering to. Enjoy!

Posted by BoiseTruth

8:18 AM, Jul 12, 2008

Thanks Onewood. Already read it, and enjoyed it very much. Thanks for posting the link on this blog.

Posted by purplereign

8:49 AM, Jul 12, 2008

t is great to see that the huskies are finally starting to look the part of a pac 10 program. The one compliment that I feel tye is deserving of is he has these guys working hard in the off season. The game against ohio st when gilbertson was coach showed me a striking disparity of strength between the two. UW had no business being on the same field, it was like watching a div II school going up against them. They dominated us in every phase of the game. Last year's team matched up physically with the buckeyes and even the year before against ou, we were a little deficient in overall talent and depth, but, we weren't pushed around in either game. We are finally getting some playmakers and the depth is coming around. It sucks that it has taken so long and tye might not have the chance to see all this pay off. The one thing we are missing is the attitude of expecting to win. Oklahoma, lsu,usc, they all expect to win every game, washington still goes into games hoping to win. There were so many games last year where a bad call, a dropped pass, or a turnover sealed our fate. The good teams let those things slide right off, but those things still hurt us, it seems that when adversity hits us, we lapse into the here we go again frame of mind and we lose when it counts in the 4th quarter. Hopefully we can take 2 out of the first 3 games and build up the take no prisoners confidence this program hasn't seen for a number of years.

Posted by Trevor

9:05 AM, Jul 12, 2008

Well, it's always more fun to root for an underdog team anyway.

Posted by Kamara

9:14 AM, Jul 12, 2008

Ted Miller = Nike Schill

Posted by kdawg

10:20 AM, Jul 12, 2008

I noticed that ASU came up on the blog as a possible big time winner this season. They will certainly win a lot of games. However, I do not believe that they will ever go big time as long as Carpenter is the quarterback. It does not matter what offense they run. Sure, they are a good enough team to upset some great teams - maybe even USC. But they will lose a lot of big time games too. Reason: if you rattle Carpenter, he panics and throws interceptions. He is a horrible decision maker over the long run when under pressure. ASU will come into their own when Elway's son takes the helm next season. This year they are very beatable. What will determine their season is their defense - not Rudy Carpenter.

Posted by 3 of 5

10:29 AM, Jul 12, 2008

Bob, I really enjoyed your breakdown of returning huskies by class. I wonder if it might be possible for you to do something like that for UW's opponents this year. Thinking more about your "suggestions" thread, It'd be great to get an assessment of other pac 10 teams (periodically).

A side note: Oregon State managed to sign 33 players. Anybody know how on earth they managed to get 8 above the cap?

Posted by Husky Fan In New York

11:23 AM, Jul 12, 2008

Purplereign, that was exceptionally well said as success begets success. Can't tell you how happy I am that the Dawgs look the part again...the discipline and work ethic decline started to take a nose dive under Neuheisel, continued through with Gliby leading into and through the 2004 season, and has been slowly but surely coming back up with Willingham and consistent weight training philosophy under Greener. It started to show up last year with the OL and will so even more this year (thanks to Denbrock too) and we'll see if it's the DL and RBs turn next. Brandon Johnson has reportedly put on 20 lbs of muscle and Kirton is up to 296. Since Kirton is a RS-SR and will be playing to get drafted, it seems he realizes how big of an impact he could make if he plays like I think he can at d-tackle. He lacks experience at d-tackle but has been around a long time and should be one of the strongest d-tackles on the roster since he's older.

Posted by Seattle Dave

11:35 AM, Jul 12, 2008

The Beavs often do that under Riley. They oversign, then "greyshirt" (delay enrollment until winter quarter, so the greyshirted count on next year's total) if they have more than 25 academic qualifiers.

In class '07 they had 16 class members who did not enroll in the fall, either due to academic non-qualifying or deliberately greyshirting them/

Posted by DesertDawg

12:01 PM, Jul 12, 2008

Anyone know why we have not offered Eric Smiley out of West Helena (AR) Central? There must be something about him, his academics or maybe his work ethic, or something that we are unaware of for the UW not to have given him an offer yet. I have been in So. Cal for the past few months and I am out of the loop on our recruiting efforts. Also, why are we lagging behind so far in recruits this year? I believe we still do not have any commits as of yet. This seems very odd to me. Bob, Dawg fans, should we be worried? I don't recall ever being so inept in our commits this far into the summer before.

Go Dawgs!

Posted by Formerly Guest

1:42 PM, Jul 12, 2008

Purple Reign,
Actually, I think we were physically overmatched by tOSU last year once the game got into the 2nd half. It was well better than it ws several years prior, and the team did not quit.

But even the players - EJ Savanah in particular- admitted they got physically dominated as the game went on.

There is still a way to go, but I think the last few years we have gotten our players to give us more and more of what they physically can. Whether we have done the best job tactically we can, I don't think so.

Hopefully, there is more experience this year, more depth, better strength and endurance, and better strategy frankly (both offensively and defensively). All that will lead to better confidence, and a worthy opponent for the rest of the conference.

So I guess I agree with your point that thing sare improving, but just don't think we were quite as far along physically yet as you were arguing.

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