Tuesday, July 24, 2007

College Football at its Best - Washington Huskies

The Washington Huskies are the featured football program in the series "College Football at its Best"....U-Dub grad Zach from the popular blog The Big Picture gives us his thoughts about the Huskies...I want to thank Zach for his time and encourage everyone to check out his blog....it is one of the best blogs in the country....
  • The Big Picture

  • Q1. What has happened to the Washington football program? The Huskies were always a premier program, can Ty Willingham (photo - right) bring them back to prominence?
    Man, good question. For how far the program has fallen, it's hard to pin-point exactly why Washington football has gone to hell. Part of it would be the general chaos in the Athletic Department, dating back to the Rick Neuheisel scandal and the resignation of former AD Barbara Hedges.

    Keith Gilbertson -- a great coordinator, but terrible head coach -- taking over after Neuheisel left probably messed things up. He somehow was losing the top in-state recruits to other Pac-10 schools, which is 124% unacceptable. The Huskies' defense with USC's Taylor Mayes and Cal's Anthony Felder -- both from Seattle's O'Dea High School -- would be greatly improved.

    Willingham has shown signs of bringing UW back to where it should be. With a fast start last season, there was excitement for Washington football for the first time since probably 2002. Personally, I think he's the wrong guy to turn around a program. He's conservative with the gameplan and, frankly, I don't know why anyone would want to play for him. I think he'd be better off coaching an established team rather than trying to rebuild one.

    Q2. What is the greatest Washington football game that you have seen - whether it be in-person or on television? Explain the game and why it was so great.
    Wow! There have been some good ones. I'd say the 2003 Apple Cup in Seattle was really special. It was the first year when fans started realizing that U-Dub wasn't very good anymore so anything -- like anything -- to juice fans would help.

    So when the disappointing Huskies upset a then top-10 Washington State team, it was chaos in Husky stadium. Corey Williams, a freshman wide receiver who hadn't done much of anything all year, caught the game-winning touchdown with 1:10 left to help the Dawgs to a 27-19 win.

    Q3. Who do you consider Washington's biggest rival - Southern Cal or Washington State?
    Washington State is still the biggest. But Oregon would be right up there too. For a long time, Wazzu was garbage, so the best geographical rivalry was the Ducks. When both Oregon and WSU are good, I bet you could poll 100 people and the answer to biggest rival would be a 50-50 split.

    Q4. Since 1970, who are the five greatest players to wear a Washington uniform and why?
    Man, tough. In no particular order, Mark Brunell, Warren Moon (photo - left), Steve Emtman, Reggie Williams, Napoleon Kaufman.

    Q5. Make your case why you are a proud fan of Huskie football?
    Well, lately I'm not all that proud. But the tradition is like nothing I've seen. Growing up in the Bay Area as a Cal fan, I didn't know what it meant for people to really live college football.

    The UW fans are great and expect a 10-win season every year. When we don't get it, things can turn sour. But that expectation for success that is so hard-wired in UW fans speaks of the program's success, tradition and history. To be part of that -- even if the team hasn't been good in a few years now -- is special....

    I want to than Zach for his time - it is much appreciated....on Thursday, the Alabama Crimson Tide will be featured....


    GMoney said...

    Steve Emtman? Napoleon Kaufman? That's the best you've got Zach?

    John John The Bastard said...

    Wow, Really? UW? College football at its' finest? You do know they finished behind University of Arizona last year, right? Because you know, they haven't had a winning season in 8 years.

    insomniac said...

    C'mon Zach- where's the love for Mario Bailey? What's the all-time receptions leader in NFL (europe) history have to do to get some respect around here?