Time and space run out for Dawgs in LA
Destiny ran into the time space continuum and destiny lost. A tear in the fabric of time and space left the Huskies two seconds short of the Southland Shocker that was predicted in these very pages. Destiny is now back at the local strip club, joined by Aura, now that she no longer hangs over the USC Trojans.
Teams around the Pac 10 now smell Trojan blood in the water after the Montlake Mutts went toe to toe with the highly paid Trojans, taking them to the limit in a heart breaking 26-20 loss at the LA Coliseum.
Lest we blame some awkward clock operation for our woes, we must recall that several times the Huskies held Destiny in their own hands, only to let her slip out just as the sands of time slipped through their fingers on that last non play.
But this isn't a game to point blame for or to spend too much time focusing on what we didn't do. This is a game to focus on the return of some very physical play by our Dawgs against a very physical team. To celebrate a defense that protected the goal line with their hearts and souls. To celebrate a quarterback who continues to grow before our eyes and who continues to answer the critics as he stands tall and leads this team. To celebrate a coaching staff that went toe to toe with Pete Carroll's gang, a very significant achievement in its own right.
This was the Huskies best game of the year delivered against the best opponent of the year and it heralds the return of the Huskies as a legitimate Pac 10 team. For that, we can be proud and grateful.
The State of the Kennel
The Huskies have played 6 games this year and have 6 games left. They are 4-2 which is the best case scenario that anyone came up with considering the schedule. The funny thing is, while all were penciling in a loss to USC, I suspect almost no one thought we'd be commiserating over how we couldda, wouldda, and shouldda won that game!
So what of the next six games? Two are considered long shots, at UO and Cal. Two are considered winnable, Stanford and OSU at home, and two are toss ups, ASU here and WSU there.
The task now is to take this momentum and publicity and run with it all the way to a bowl game and monster recruiting class. It is not time to reflect; rather it is time to redouble the efforts. 7-5 is the minimum acceptable record now. 8-4 is likely and 9-3 is no longer impossible.
Moral victories count as losses and there are no more moral teams left on the schedule. Only teams that need to be beaten as the Dawgs continue the long climb back to respectability and beyond. Coach Willingham seems to have done a good job in getting the loser mentality out of the program; it is time for the fans to follow. Expect to win.
Coach Willingham is very close to a remarkable turn around that this self proclaimed football expert said we should expect. It won't take 5 years to see the results, we are seeing them now. We actually saw them last year, but they were lost in the 4th quarter fades of too many games.
We admit that we doubted the ability of Coach Willingham, but we are pleased to be proven wrong and hope that we are proven completely wrong and that Coach Willingham can finish the job this year, recruit, and maintain and build upon this success without the dips that have caused him some problems at other jobs.
The State of the Kennel is clear – keep winning and go bowling. We have the talent and the coaching to expect it. Our long nightmare is over, as long as all concerned continue to do that which they are doing so well. This team can actually play a lot better than we have seen. Now it's time to take care of business at home against the Beavers and their coach who appears to be on the hot seat.
PREDICTION: UW 35, OSU 17
Meanwhile down in Eugene
Mallard N. Moore
"Moos, you blithering idiot, get in here!" screamed Oregon owner Phil Knight as he broke the stillness of a morbid Eugene Sunday morning at the Dan Fouts Center.
"Coming sir!" replied Moos as he once again realized why he hated Sundays, hated Knight, and hated Oregon.
"Dammit Moos, why the hell were we playing in Berkeley last night?" fumed Knight as he thought back to the bitter rejection of his head coaching offer to Pappy Tedford at their late night dinner in the Bay Area the night before.
"C'mon sir, the Pac 10 won't let us play 9 league games here every year. We tried, remember?"
"I'm not paying you for excuses, Moos; I'm paying you for results. Hell, we don't even need to play Washington here every year, can't we trade them for Cal?" continued Knight as he looked for something to throw at Moos.
"You say that now, but you were thrilled when I was able to get them to play here every year," noted Moos as he instantly regretted talking back to Knight and as he deftly avoided the flying paper weight headed for his face. "Besides, it looks like we will need to play UW here after all; did you see their game against USC?"
"USC? You mean the USC that we will play AT later this year? That USC? They would be on probation by now if I wasn't so busy buying my way out of trouble for all your failed attempts at pushing the envelope," screamed Knight as he faced another year of looming mediocrity. "And why the hell is UW tied with us and looking like a football team again? I paid that damn snitch to destroy the program and they are back already? Can't you do anything right, Moos?!"
And on it went as a sheepish Mike Bellotti lurked in the darkened hallways silently praying that he would not be next. Thankfully UCLA was coming to town and the Bruins win at Autzen as often as UO wins Rose Bowls. Bellotti knew the inevitable Tedford comparisons would start again, and the fans would be whining and complaining, but all he could do is what he knew – smear Washington and try to win some football games.
PREDICTION: UO 31, UCLA 21
The Rest: Arkansas put to rest any Auburn worries about the BCS by routing the Tigers at Auburn…the allegedly superior SEC is now led by a team that has given up 120 points to USC the last two years…Urban Legend led Florida over the fast disintegrating LSU…prepare a hot seat for Les Miles, the unfortunate guy who followed Nick Saban…Tennessee hung 50 at Georgia, yet another SEC "heavyweight"…by the way, we told you Cal would come back west after the Tennessee game and kick tail…45-24 over Oregon in case you missed it…Mizzou is 6-0 for the first time since electricity was discovered as Gary Pinkel rides high after a win over Texas Tech…Texas pushed OU around in the Red River War – how cool of a name is "Colt" for a Texas quarterback?.…The ACC remains mired in mediocrity…the Big 11 remains a two team race….but beware of Happy Valley, Big Blue…not much in the way of huge games next week…water is wet, the sun rises in the east, and A Rod is out of the play offs after another 1 fer.
Thanks for Reading! – Race
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