Well football is officially around the corner. It gets started with the Pac-10's annual Football Media Day this week at the Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel. Apparently the conference is trying - desperately - to get up to speed with today's media world by making this event as friendly to new media and social networking tools as possible. They will stream the event live, and for the first time allows fans to "take part and submit questions for the Pac-10 head coaches and players in attendance." From their official site:
Pac-10 Football Media Day may be viewed in its entirety on www.pac-10.org, Pac-10 member school websites and numerous other additional media outlets. For the first time, fans will have the opportunity to have their questions answered by the coaches and players via the Pac-10 Twitter account. Questions may be submitted at any time leading up to the event or on the day itself. The best questions will be selected and asked by the webcast's host, Steve Physoic, who will be calling Pac-10 football games this season on Fox Sports Net. Fans can participate by tweeting their questions to: http://twitter.com/pac10.
Color me not all that excited or confident in Pac-10's ability to pull this off. Considering Physioc is one of the worst and most borning announcers in college game and their TV broadcasts look like high school quality compared to their counterparts from WWL, color me skeptical. Guess we will find out how it all turns out. FWIW Rick Neuheisel is going to bring Reggie Carter w him to the event and they are supposed to be at the podium at 10:15 am PST.
So Neuheisel and Carter will take the podium right after Washington's new head coach Steve Sarkasian (former Pom Pom lackey) and OLB Donald Butler. Sakasian has been apparently doing a great job selling that kool aid up in Seattle. Their fans are feeling confident. So much so they are expecting to beat UCLA at the Rose Bowl:
UCLA was terrible last year and Washington certainly would have beaten them if Jake Locker was in the lineup. When UCLA did roll into town he faced a Husky team led by a lame duck coach and missing its biggest playmaker. Even with all that going on the Huskies had ther chances in 2008 against these guys.
Fast forwarding to 2009 the Huskies play the Bruins late in the season on the road in the Rose Bowl. The UCLA series in the Rose Bowl has not been kind to the Huskies. Despite that I have to give the early nod to Washington because if the Huskies are going to be playing in the .500 neighborhood this is one the squads you have to pencil in to beat. I preface it with the usual discaimer and that is if Jake Locker is healthy Washington will beat UCLA and be only a win or two away from bowl qualification in 2009 at this stage of the season.
That was from John Berkowitz at UW Dawg Pound, which is one of my favorite blogs on SBN. I like John's enthusiam for his program and his new coach (and you can't get more passionate and devoted then him) but the assertion about how Washington would have beaten us with Jake Locker was amusing. The problems for a winless Washington team (remember they didn't win a single game) stretched well beyond losing QB. John also forgets how UCLA was also playing without its two go to QBs - Cowan and Olson - the entire season. So if we played - if _____ was in the lineup game - we could easily argue that if UCLA had either Cowan and Olson, then we would have had a great shot to go to a bowl game, and SMASH Washington more convincingly upon CRN's return at the Rose Bowl.
In any event, I am sure our guys will not be taking Washington lightly at all. And if the sentiment that with Jake Locker Washington will handle UCLA pervades all over the Washington program and Seattle press, it will only help to motivate our defense. I will take that. Except for those amusing paras., John's UCLA preview is decent. As I mentioned above, I think Dawgpound is one of the better blogs on SBN, and my comments above are all in good fun. More note concerning Washington and another season opponent - Kansas State - after the jump.
One thing for sure, I will be rooting for Washington to return to prominence. I think a good Washington program is good for the conference. Ted Miller from ESPN made the following observation couple of weeks ago on this point that I thought was on the money:
Washington and UCLA are big market, urban teams with good football traditions that play in big stadiums. That's why they are important: They reach beyond a regional fan base in terms of name recognition and are capable of generating big revenue -- for themselves and the conference.
So here is to the Huskies getting it done. Although it remains to be seen whether Sarkasian is the right guy for them.
Lastly, speaking of opponent previews, Al Balderas posted a capsule on Kansas State (our third game of the season):
OUTLOOK: Is the Kansas State football program ready for another revival? Does it need one? Bill Snyder coached at K-State from 1989-2005, turning around one of the most laughable college football programs in the country. He led the Wildcats to a 136-68-1 record. The program had 130 victories in its previous 51 years. The Wildcats went 17-19 in the three seasons after Snyder’s departure. Now that Snyder has returned, it will be interesting to see if he retained his winning touch.
It will be interesting indeed. Second add for "senior" coaches hasn't really worked out historically (See Johny Majors going back to Pittsburgh, John Robinson at Southern Cal). Yet we can't underestimate Snyder. He is revered in Manhattan and has the cache that could potentially get that program back in line. Interestings sidenote: UCLA went after Snyder (along with CRN, Gary Barnett & Glen Mason) before settling on Toledo after Donahue retired at the end of 1995.
Lot of us wanted CRN to take over at that time. Badly. But he wasn't ready to come back after just one year as head coach at CU. Interesting how things work out in the long run. Should be a fun game.