- Washington Huskies: Retire the trophy
- Oregon State Beavers: Perfect home for Price? Get Huskies at Reser
- (t)Washington State Cougs: Championship hopes tabled
- (t)Oregon Ducks: Flying on one wing without a defense
HUSKY SPRING REPORT
Race Bannon, Mosul
The flagship program of the Husky sports empire was swept by Oregon over the weekend, adding to the pressure on Husky coach Theresa Wilson. When Jim Lambright, coach of a minor sport at the UW, failed to beat Oregon enough, it cost him his job. Imagine how much hotter the pressure is on the coach of the main moneymaker in the athletic department?
The Husky soft ballers are mired in the middle of the PAC with a losing record, not what the athletic department envisioned when they unveiled plans for a $100-million upgrade of Husky Softball Stadium.
The Husky Men's crew lost to Cal in a heartbreaker. Cal has the former East German Women's swim team for their men's crew, and those old battle-axes are tough to beat.
I stopped by the old, crumbling, outdated football stadium to see it one last time before it is demolished to make room for the softball expansion, and to check out the final spring scrimmage for the football team, which will be dropped next year to make room for fall men's softball.
The first thing I noticed was that adults are now in charge of coaching the squad. The O-line, a favorite target of the few remaining football fans, is being driven hard by new coach Dan Cozzetto. Phil Snow has brought a chill air to those who mess up on defense, and hopes to restore the pride and destructive capability of the Husky D.
On offense, Heisman candidate Isaiah Stanback, who may share time with newcomer Cody Pickett, will lead the Huskies. His number one target will be the incomparable Reggie Williams, set to complete his career at the Dub with a national championship.
The Huskies continue to search for a running back and a running game, and Barry Sanders was sited on the sidelines. Sanders is still a free agent.
The defense looked tough and appears deep. The big loss was the Rainier Beach legend Nate Robinson, who gave up football to concentrate on softball. Who can blame him? Football is but a Title IX sham to show some men's participation in sports on campus.
The Huskies open with the best team in the history of college ball on the road. Woody Hayes' Buckeyes of Ohio State will be waiting in Columbus for a nationally televised lid lifter. Husky players are reminded not to get too close to the Buck sideline after an interception.
Most experts agree that the Dawgs are dogs for this one. Big dogs, who need to play like Big Dawgs, to get it done in hostile space. More on this match up in our season preview.
Ducks Turn Yellow
Race Bannon, Tirkuit
We were unable to get any first-hand knowledge of the Duck's spring goings on, due to black out restrictions on broadcasts in the state of Washington involving the Ducks. The top-notch marketers at UO have made their product quite accessible to insomniacs and alcoholics in New York, but haven't quite mastered getting their spring game shown here in Washington.
To be honest, we could have sent Mallard N. Moore to Eugene to cover the game live, but in these tight economic times, we just can't see paying to watch the 8th place team in the PAC muddle through their scrimmage. Moore is now an embedded reporter with the Saddam Fayedeen.
What we have decided to do is to take snippets of unconfirmed information and just make up the rest, just like major football preview magazines.
The Ducks unveiled an "alternate" jersey, just like other pro teams that Nike owns. The jersey is yellow. No, we are not making this up. Along with the alternate jersey is an alternate nickname – The Yellow Bellies.
So Jason Fife led the Yellow Bellies, or Chickens for short, onto the field and picked up where he left off by failing to compete a pass to one of his own receivers. He redeemed himself by throwing a completion to a defensive back, who appeared stunned. Coaches later confirmed that was the closest a defensive back had been to a football since the 2001 season.
That leaves the mantle of the next Joey to Kellen Clemens, who was sharp and effective, although not as effective as he was coming off the bench last season. Sammie Parker is the main man in the receivers.
Many of the defenders were able to get work release and join the scrimmage, which was held at the Boy's Town field in Eugene. Judge Bellotti was able to take time off from his busy schedule as a Public Defender to coach up the teams.
Bellotti had some point scheme that allowed the defense to get points for having their shoes tied, or something, which allowed the defense to score 48 points, only one point less than they gave up. Yes, the defense is another unit that is in mid-season form.
The Ducks open up at Mississippi State, then return home to face Michigan. Really. They will not need the yellow jerseys until Portland State comes to town again.
Beavers thinking of Roses
Buck E. Beaver – Corvallis
New coach Mike Riley no longer has the boyish good looks that he had in his last stint at OSU. A couple years with Ryan Leaf will do that to you. Riley is a hometown boy from Corvallis, who is intimately acquainted with the Beaver legacy in football. He will try to overcome that legacy.
Derrick Anderson threw a pick for a TD in the spring game, yet another player in mid-season form. Richard Seigler was trying out his new muzzle, which is supposed to help him let sleeping Dawgs lie. Sabby Piscitelli closed out the scrimmage with a Kenny Wheaton impersonation., taking a pick the length of the field for a TD.
I know this because the Beaver game was seen in Seattle, which should give the Beavers an edge over the Ducks in getting Washington players not good enough to play for the UW. The heavy, dramatic NFL Films music was a nice touch for a meaningless scrimmage. Hey, when you're a Beaver, you take any win you can get.
The Beavers closed their drills with a rousing cry of "Rose Bowl!" Mike Riley's grandfather was a kid when the Beavs last won the Granddaddy.
Next up for the Beavers is a big upgrade in their non-conference schedule as Sacramento State comes to town. There is no truth to the rumor that the Beavs will be in yellow jerseys that day.
Cougs Look To Re Build
Race Bannon, Embedded with Arty's Angels
The Cougs lost their coach, who lost his credit card, which lost him $10 million, which caused the Alabama Crimson Tide to turn Crimson with embarrassment as they lost their new coach.
Cougar fans are left with reconciling the fact that the greatest coach in school history despite a 3-11 record against the Huskies, is also the biggest laughingstock in NCAA history. And they thought Ryan Leaf was a heavy burden to bear.
Like all Seattle media members, we are shocked that his saint of a man who always did it the right way, could turn out to be such a two-timing heel. Oh well.
In on-field news, Matt Kegel is ready to redeem himself after his poor execution of a backwards pass in the Apple cup last year.
The defense will have to replace stalwarts such as Trufant and Long. New coach Bill Doba is a defensive minded guy, so look for the Cougs to be a defensive minded team.
The Cougars hope to benefit from a more sober approach to offense, without all the bells and whistles, and hopefully without all the turnovers. If Doba delivers, they will be dancing on the tables in the Palouse.
The Cougs open in Seattle at Seahawk Stadium against Idaho, and Paul Allen nervously hopes that he isn't selling the naming rights to the Vandals when it's over.
Tide Turns On Price
Race Bannon, Pensacola
Did you hear the one about a football coach, a stripper, and a hooker? Seems they rented a motel room and tried to clean out the place on a company credit card. It would have worked too, if the coach hadn't tripped over a G-String on the way out.
Mike Price was always known as a stand-up guy by lazy Seattle reporters who had an axe to grind with whoever was coaching Washington. Price stumbled and bumbled in anonymity in the Palouse for many years before he got his shot at the big time.
He proceeded to throw up all over his shoes. It has been quite an interesting six months for Price, who has lied to his Cougar players, forced WSU to let him coach the team to an embarrassing blow-out loss in the Rose Bowl, moved to Alabama where he bought everyone in town a drink, before his final fling and entrance into blooper immortality at a golf tournament deep in Gator country.
Bama is said to have three finalists for the position, Larry, Curley, and Moe. Rick Neuheisel denied interest, saying, "and writers jump all over MY (explicative deleted)?"
Spring Notes:…This issue probably ensures another Christmas without a card from Ms. Hedges........the replay board was inactive at the Spring Game, and no full replay was available. Perhaps the cost savings will go into funding a billboard for Cody Pickett's Heisman campaign?..........Rick Neuheisel is set to be sprung from his Columbian Drug Lord prison along the shores of Lake Washington June 1st.......considering all that has happened, he might want to stay there........Dawgs are a pre-season pick for league honors........Tyees say it best be so........Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was fired for throwing the ball too much during Buckeye spring drills........175,000 Buckeye fans showed up to watch.......Buckeyes will be pre-season number one, and their fans are giving Cane fans a run for their money as the most obnoxious.....Cane fans are still crying over spilt flags.........Ken Dorsey and his rag arm are gone now, giving new hope for the continuation of the Cane dynasty.......As always, we thank our readers, and wish you a happy summer......not long now before we're back at it in full force..............God Bless our Troops and the USA...Let freedom ring! – Race Bannon, self proclaimed college football expert.