This is the time of year when everything seems to slow down for college football fans. The current recruiting class is in the bag and the players are deep into the winter conditioning phase of the season. While it may be quiet for Husky football fans especially with about every writer in the Northwest focused on the Winter Olympics there is still a lot of activity going on at Montlake.
The coaches are still out there recruiting trying to get a head start on 2011. The coaches have already made 35 offers to prospective student athletes and they have already picked up their first commit. Most of us were very happy with the 2010 recruiting class but most of the experts feel that Sark and his staff will easily top that in 2011. Word on the street is Washington wants to bring in a full class of 25 next year after bring in 30 this past season.
As for winter conditioning this is when the future of the 2010 season is really put together. This marks the first full year that Coach Ivan has been directing the conditioning of the team and we all expect that next fall our team will truly begin to pass the eye test when it comes to physical prowess. It takes 18-24 months to truly change the physical conditioning of a football team so this off season is a crucial building block for the foundation of the football program.
Attrition will still be something to watch between now and next fall. The Huskies have more players coming in than they currently have spots for so at least three players will move on between now and the start of fall camp. I don't want to name names but is pretty obvious after combing the roster to find guys who have been here for awhile that have not played much yet.
Spring practice begins on Tuesday March 30th and that will be when things really start rolling again. The coaches are spreading out the 15 practices allowed over a full month. Spring practice concludes with the spring game being played under the lights at Husky Stadium on April 30th.
I think Friday Night Lights is a great idea for a spring game. Just another way Sark is putting the excitement back into the program. Another sign that interest is increasing is the sale of 1460 new season tickets so far this off season. It is nice to finally see the decling sales stop and see the meter start moving the other direction.
So we have approximately five weeks till spring practice begins and the blog is going to fill its time with a series of positional reviews starting next week. The basketball season is still going on and the huskies will be playing in either the Big Dance or the NIT in March. The Cassino will be here to cover all the basketball action. I want to send out a hearty thanks to him because he has done a great job this season. Hopefully the team finishes strong so we can all enjoy the excitement of the NCAA tournament.
We will also be keeping an eye on the rest of the conference. The folks down at Oregon have given us plenty to talk about over the past month and I am betting that the smoke and fire will continue in Eugene until they start spring practice.
Sanctions will be announced at USC between now and spring practice. We expect the sanctions to be major and result in a one year bowl ban, loss of scholaraships and the all important TV money. We also expect it to be a lot less punative than what happened to Washington in the early 1990's because we haven't heard any mentions of fruit baskets coming out of LA yet.
Today's links from Pompei, Oregon
The staff of the UO campus newspaper says they have had enough.
In a rare move, the four-person Emerald sports staff combined to write a centerpiece editorial to express their frustration over the off-field incidents -- allegations ranging from fighting to domestic violence to drunken driving and more -- involving Oregon athletes. Oregon Live
John Canzano was on the radio interviewing Chip Kelly. You have to give credit to Kelly for doing this because he simply has no obligation to do it. That being said you really need to listen to the podcast and read this article because it gives you a lot of insight into what is going on at Oregon from the head coaches perspective.
One of the more shocking parts of the interview is the coaches backing of LaMichael James and his stance that the alledged victim in the domestic dispute isn't telling the truth which doesn't jibe with what the District Attorney is saying.
Anyway if you really want a picture of who Chip Kelly is read the article and listen the podcast.
Kelly and I exchanged thoughts via cellular telephone after the debate, expressing mutual respect. And it was big of him to come on the show and answer some tough questions about the cluster of arrests and insubordination by his players. He's obviously embarrassed, and tense, there are a lot of coaches who wouldn't have come on, or bothered to answer the questions.
He thinks he's handling this stuff right... I think he's part of the problem. Oregon Live
Josh Wilcox says the media has blown everything way out of proportion which is pretty much what are friends over at Addicted to Quack are saying. Tough to say the media has blown it out of proportion when all they have to do is read the police reports and go from there.
Former Oregon tight end Josh Wilcox (1991-94) said that while he doesn't condone the actions and alleged actions of current UO players he also believes that the media has blown the situation out of proportion.
"It seems the media takes bigger pride in writing stories about guys failing than writing about the good stories and good things that guys do," he said. Oregon Live