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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Washington Husky Football - The Blunder...

After witnessing another pathetic display of football in Husky Stadium on Saturday, it's time to make the decision. Emmert hitched his wagon to Tyrone Willingham and the result has been an unqualified disaster. Washington football has sunk to unprecedented depths. I've never witnessed a Husky team so devoid of any competitiveness. This team is bordering on an all-time low...a complete embarrassment. This is Kansas from the 80's. And I don't mean the rock band.

Against Oklahoma...where do I even begin? A complete lack of basic NCAA-level fundamentals was on display for a national audience to see; no basic blocking or tackling, ball exchange misery, kicking woes, a lifeless group of players going through the motions. A 265 pound tight end out ran Washington's secondary. Pathetic.

At what point to you assess the damage and move on? We are entering a phase where irreparable damage is now being done to the program. This is not a historically moribund program; they've won 15 PAC-10 titles, 7 Rose Bowls, a National Title. How will the next administration be able to resurrect this team after Tyrone and his staff of utter incompetents have buried it so deeply? This affects recruiting and the ability to bring in a real staff of football coaches. The water here is tainted and it's spreading rapidly and for all to see.

I do wonder if Emmert is afraid to pull the trigger. Is he more afraid of the known or the unknown? I wonder if the hangover from the Don James era still lingers on campus. James had become so powerful within the U-Dub that even Barbara Hedges ego was happy to see him leave. She proved it by her complicity towards the sanctions. Old news? maybe. Is Washington afraid of becoming a football power again? Is this administration happy being simply an academic institution? Whatever the case may be, James set the standard very high...perhaps even unattainable. I feel that you have to try, for the players, fans, school pride and the city.

We all expected Oklahoma to beat Washington. Consistently watching these slow, lifeless drones that cannot compete, play fundamental football or make strides...that's coaching. Coaching is the ability to maximize the potential of a team. Either this entire football team has never played before or the coaching staff has absolutely bumbled this task. Perhaps this team has been over-coached and the players just cannot learn the system. Again, that's a coaches responsibility to analyze and adapt.

Washington is about to embark on a stretch where they can win three games. The wins will be a band-aid and allow some breathing room for Ty. Make no mistake; the wounds are deeper than that. This system, whatever it is, doesn't work. Jake Locker won't last the season in this system. Don’t let the upcoming wins blur the reality of this situation; this team has no fundamental skills, talent, motivation, or a coaching staff that can figure that out.

I think Tyrone Willingham has something to offer the football world, although I am not sure where his skill set applies. Since the days at Stanford he has always been caught on-camera in that stern 'deep thinker' pose, suggesting a superior intellect. I was fooled for a while. But now I believe that look is either his 'asleep at the wheel' look or him simply realizing he has no idea what is going on. He knows he's a dead man walking. His players look just like that, too.

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