Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Return to Respectability in College Football

If you are as much of a college football fan as I am, you appreciate the efforts of a team that doesn't quit no matter the game situation or their won/loss record. Here, I will write of a team that has a rich history but has fallen upon hard times of late. However, it appears this football program is about to rise from the ashes and become a national force to be reckoned with in the near future. Truth is, this team has already taken great strides this season even with a 2 win 3 loss record heading into the weekend of October 10 --- they won nary a game last season. As far as I am concerned, this team has returned to respectability even if they do not win again in 2009.

Let's talk about the University of Washington Huskies football program.

Here is a brief synopsis of Washington Huskies history. Some great Head Coaches include:

*Gil Doobie who was 58-0-3 from 1908 – 1916
*Enoch Bagshaw, 63-22-6 from 1921 – 1929
*Darrell Royal, the great Texas Longhorns coach was 5-5 in 1956
*Don James, 153-57-2 from 1975 -1992

Notable players included:

*Running Back Hugh McElhenny --- Pro Football hall of Fame
*Quarterback Warren Moon --- Pro Football HOF, Mark Brunell, Chris Chandler
*Running Backs --- Napolean Kaufman, Corey Dillon
*Wide Receiver --- Reggie Williams
*Defensive Linemen --- Reggie Rogers, Steve Emtman, Larry Tripplett
*Offensive Linemen --- Lincoln Kennedy, Olin Kreutz, Benji Olson
*Defensive Backs --- Lawyer Milloy, Tony Parrish
*Tight Ends --- Cam Clelland, Ernie Conwell

Team accomplishments:
*Co-National Champions in 1991
*Nine times in the Top 10 AP or Coaches Poll
*Won or tied the Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC) 15 times

Now, let's go back to the 2008 season and look at some hard numbers ---

*Record --- 0 Wins/12 Losses --- The only PAC 10 team to lose every game
*The only team in the nation to be 0 – 12
*Were outscored by a whopping 463 – 159 margin
*They were only close in 3 games including a heartbreaking 28-27 loss in which quarterback Jake Locker was penalized for a celebration foul after scoring a touchdown with :02 remaining in the game. This cost the Huskies 15 yards on the ensuing extra point … the kick was blocked.

Head Coach Tyrone Willingham was forced to resign during the season following an embarrassing 33-7 loss to Notre Dame, although he was allowed to finish the campaign.

Enough of the bad, but why do I believe the University of Washington football program has turned around? Here are some reasons.

Head Coach Steve Sarkisian --- A young coach (34) with a winning attitude and calm demeanor. Much of that comes from playing for legendary Head Coach Lavell Edwards in 1995 and 1996 as a record setting quarterback at Brigham Young University (BYU).

For many years, Sarkisian was an assistant under Pete Carroll's eye at the University of Southern California (USC) culminating with being the offensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008.

Quarterback Jake Locker --- Experienced starting QB as he played in 12 games as a red shirt freshman but was lost via injury after 4 games last season. Locker has a strong and accurate arm and can use his strength and mobility to shed defenders. That was in evidence during last week's game versus Notre Dame. Locker doesn't seem to be in a panic and is quite heady.

A team that wants to win --- The Huskies are tired of getting trounced. They did defeat USC earlier this season which became the springboard for new found confidence. Hungry, hungry, Huskies!

Many thought the road to respectability for Washington Huskies football would be a long and arduous one. But with evidence to the contrary, such as games with USC and Notre Dame, that road should be much easier to be traversed. With a young and well versed 1st year coach in Steve Sarkisian and a terrific quarterback in Jake Locker, The Husky football program is on the right track.

Welcome back Washington Huskies football!

Send email to

1 comment:

  1. I agree that Washington is on the rise. Their win against USC should not only help in confidence for the season but for recruiting. Players will see that they can compete with the big time schools while being a star in their own right, since most guys get overshadowed when they got a USC or Florida. I just wish my Wisconsin Badgers could actually win the Big 10 again as opposed to the 2nd, 3rd or 4th place finishes that they've had in recent years.