Gilbertson Takes Command
The proud and storied tradition that is Washington Husky Football begins a new chapter of excellence Saturday night August 30th at the fabled Nut House in Columbus Ohio before 105,000 Buckeye fanatics and a handful of hardy Husky travelers.
Keith Gilbertson ascends to the throne as he realizes his life-long dream of being The Man at Washington. Trained at the knee of the legendary Don James, Gilby is ready to make his own mark at Montlake.
Reports from the preseason training camp have the faithful drooling with anticipation for the return of hard-nosed Husky Football. New offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto has the job of restoring the nasty to the most honored position in Husky lore. Road grating has given way to patty-cake in recent years, much to the dismay of Husky tailbacks and fans. A more aggressive defensive scheme from co-coordinators Phil Snow and Tim Hundley is also promised. Randy Hart is continuing to nurture his defensive line charges with his own unique brand of tough love. Hart is a former Buckeye who knows all too well that only the strong and tough survive the battles in the pits. Hart is slightly to the right of his first mentor, Woody Hayes.
Steve Emtman is helping in the weight room, showing the youth of today what being a Husky Football Player means, and how to get there. Former players who have watched practice are making comparisons to the master himself. Crisp execution and tight organization have returned to Huskyville according to most reports. Grizzled writers like yours truly have fallen under the spell and are about to risk the dwindling credibility left to make bold predictions of greatness.
David "Dawgman" Samek, Billionaire website operator and noted raconteur, has gone on record for a 12-0 record, and has held to it despite serious cross-examination and even torture from our country cousins. Not even Fox Sports Northwest's Brad Adams could get Dawgman to recant his bold prediction. Now he's twisting in the wind, right where we like him to be. I mean, come on, his name is "Dawgman" folks, and that kind of opens the door for ridicule if you ask me.
It is a honeymoon in Seattle for Gilby, as he has long been affectionately known around these parts. Husky fans are ready to jettison the soap opera "As The Stomach Turns" of the last year and pull together. We have had our disagreements over the summer but it is time to focus on the task at hand, which is to restore the fading glory of Washington Football. Two years removed from a Rose Bowl championship, the Huskies face a glaring lack of respect as they meet the defending National Champions in a nationally televised night game.
This is a match-up of the only two teams to beat the vaunted ‘Canes of Miami over the last three years. It is Outlaw Bowl II – as the Huskies, the winner of Outlaw Bowl I in Miami in 1994, and the Buckeyes, reeling from 17 concurrent investigations of their program, square off.
Maurice Clarett and Rick Neuheisel will be watching this one on TV and could have a side bet on the outcome. In what has to be a brainchild of the Big-10, a conference with 11 teams, 10 Buckeye players were suspended and reinstated without even knowing they were suspended. Bill Moos, the Oregon AD was on a special assignment to Columbus this summer, to assist in damage control and NCAA rules interpretations. He is widely credited with the double secret suspensions, a trick he learned from Dean Wormer in his undergrad days.
However, it is all about football now, and it is all about Keith Gilbertson getting the chance to call the shots as the Headman. Gilby is an acknowledged offensive genius. His Husky offenses have been among the best in school history. He is a "draw it up on a napkin" kind of guy who never stops scheming and thinking about football. He has earned this battlefield promotion no matter the circumstances and we stand foursquare behind him in the hopes that some serious brown nosing might get our DFI writers allowed back onto campus again.
It will take all the creativity that Gilby has to crack the Buckeye defense. It will take all the guts and desire our defense has to stop the Buck offense, led by the man the other illustrated sports magazine touted as the smartest quarterback in the history of western civilization – Craig Krenzel. If we get in a lab fight with these guys we are in trouble. Rumor has it that Krenzel does his own schoolwork. Enough said.
The first part of the game will be about surviving the alcohol-fueled emotion of the fans at the Nut House. A veteran, savvy squad of seniors will be called upon to do that. Then it will be time for Gilby and Company to unleash the hounds and shock the world with a power running game and the incomparable Reggie Williams running roughshod over the stunned Buckeye defenders. It is certainly a tall order, but undoubtedly a chance for Gilby to establish himself as the worthy coach we know he is and can be.
By the second half the shocked fans will watch silently as the Huskies dominate the field and end the dream of the repeat in shocking fashion.
I'll have another Kool aid please –
Washington – 38, THE Ohio State – 22
We have been informed that our preview issue contained some glaring inaccuracies regarding the Husky preview. We apologize for the inconvenience and wish Jayson Blair the best in his new career in Sports Information at the University of Oregon.
Ducks dance down to the delta
Mallard N. Moore
We welcome Mr. Moore back to his regular reporting post. Moore was fortunate enough to earn a Nike internship this summer where he worked with synthetic glues and air compressed vests in unventilated factories. We are lucky to have him back, and he is lucky to be back, although he now has trouble with his speech and can no longer eat solid foods.
The Oregon Ducks open the "Save Bellotti's Job" campaign in Starkville, Mississippi, against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Equipped with their space-age Kevlar bulletproof special air-cooled water-ignited jet shoes, developed at the Nike labs, the Ducks are brimming with confidence. The new yellow jerseys speak to the mental state of the team as well. These colors don't run, and chickens don't fly very well either.
Jackie Sherrill, the Headman at MSU, is out for revenge after being coach of one of the few teams that the Ducks could beat last year. He has already castrated several ducks and a couple of cattle as well just for good measure. Sherrill is a legendary former Cougar coach who went to the SEC and was not fired before his first game.
Jason Fife and Clarence Clemmons were still battling for the starter's spot as we went to press. Whoever it is will be better than Joey, and lead the Ducks back to the Promised Land. And if Clarence doesn't win the job, rumor has it that Bruce Springsteen will allow him back into the E-street band, where he'll add a duck call to his saxophone repertoire.
Several candidates are vying to replace Onterrio Smith as the lead running back. The strength of the team will be the defensive line that failed to sack Cody Pickett once and allowed Rich Alexis to run wild. (Sorry Duck fans, I lost a bet to you know who on last year's game.)
It should be a tough game for UO to win, as visitors to SEC land often run into some strange officiating. Head Referee, John Sherrill, no relation to his brother Jackie, promised to call a fair game.
"I reckon we'll at least wait until they'all get off the plane before we'all call the first holding penalty," explained John as he fashioned a rope into a noose. "Hell, we love Yankees down here, and we're tired of the stereotypes that northern punks continue to paint us with."
Bellotti lost six games last year, which will get you fired at real football schools, and realizes that someday they may catch onto him if he continues to pile up losing conference records. Look for a big year from the Lemon and Lime, even though magazine editorial policy requires canine unity.
MSU BullDOGS – 42, UO Ducks – 41
Vandals at Seahawk Stadium for opener
Rob Bobertson – Pullman City Jail
We would like to thank the Pullman Police for allowing our Cougar reporter access to a computer to file the following report. Mr. Bobertson is serving a one-year jail term for his part in the unseemly bottle throwing attack after last year's Apple Cup.
The Washington State Cougars, fresh off a blow-out loss in the Rose Bowl, strap it on again to open the Bill Doba era against long time rival and nemesis, the Idaho Vandals. The squads have split the last four meetings, and the Vandals are always dangerous after the Cougs appear in a Rose Bowl.
Doba is a non-descript career assistant who was called upon to replace the deposed King of Poop Island, to the dismay of sports writers everywhere who just couldn't get enough of kissing Price's butt. Sorry about the rough language, but I am in prison for goodness sakes.
Once again everyone but Race Bannon thinks that the Cougs are a talented bunch that can contend for the Roses once again. Matt Kegel, lateral specialist extraordinaire, finally has the reigns of the team to himself. None of the other QBs could unseat him, despite every chance in the world to do so.
The Cougars have many running backs that will be hurt by the time the Apple Cup rolls around. They better beat Idaho because some actual top teams wait on the non-conference schedule.
WSU – 18, Idaho – 17
Note to Beaver fans: We will not cover your match up against Sacramento freaking State. Please grow some courage and schedule some real teams.
Around the World We Go: The mighty Men of Troy open at Auburn in a scintillating early season sizzler of a show down. Always bet on Cardinal and Gold . . . not that we advocate betting on college sports. USC looms as the large obstacle in the Huskies' path way out west. . . Cal is 0-1 on the way to 0-2 after a visit from Southern Miss. . . Arizona welcomes UTEP to town, perhaps their only win this year as they ready for a new coach . . . Rainier Beach opened fall camp with a new QB coach, and they are said to be "thrilled, ecstatic, excited, and showing great proclivity" . . . The Mariners are cooperating by imploding just in time . . . the Hawks are once again promising a good team, but hey, fool me 18 times, shame on you . . . this is Husky town and it always has been . . . always will be. For those of you who we have battled over the summer, I never meant to cause you any sorrow, I never meant to cause you any pain, I only want to see you laughing in the Purple Reign . . . on to glory and victory for the mighty men of Washington!
Thanks to all our readers as always – it is going to be a great year!
Race Bannon is a self-proclaimed College Football Expert and a graduate of Mel Kiper University, with a doctorate from Lee Corso College. He hopes to someday have his own column in a local newspaper where he can drink beer and play golf and get paid for it. He loves dogs as well as Dawgs.
To read more of Race Bannon's work, click here. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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