It is back to reality as the holidays have once again come to a close for our family. This December was a great one which started off with a 12 day trip to Hawaii and ended with two weekends of family and friends gathered around the house almost every day. I hope everyone out there had as much fun as we did this past Christmas season.
The bowl season isn't over yet though with four more games waiting to be played. Last night Texas Tech beat Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl. Tech fans waved signs in the stands in support of fired Coach Mike Leach but players commented with due respect to the fans that they didn't know the whole story. The crux of the matter is players were not being respected and Leach felt he was bigger than the program as a whole which caused problems all season.
Tonight Boise State takes on TCU in a matchup of non BCS teams in the Fiesta Bowl. Not many like this matchup because it doesn't give David a shot at a Goliath. Last year Utah knocked off Alabama and a couple of years ago we had that great game between Boise and Oklahoma which put the Bronco's on the map. It is good to see two non BCS teams in a BCS game but pitting them against each other steals the magic to a certain extent.
On Tuesday Iowa takes on Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Wednesday has Central Michigan vs Troy in the GMAC and on Thursday Alabama and Texas play for all the marbles out West in the BCS championship game being played in Pasadena, California.
Husky Football Recruiting
The stretch run for recruiting is about to start up with the finish coming on signing day which is February 3rd. Washington will have two more on campus recruiting weekends on the 15th and 22nd. The Huskies are looking to sign around four more players to fill out a class that will come in at around 30 players.
Here is a list of known players Washington is looking at to fill out the class.
DT Ricky Heimuli...Will most likely visit on the 22nd. Will pick between Utah, BYU, Oregon, UCLA, OSU, and UW. Ricky is one of the top recruits in the country. He does plan to go on a two year mission after his first year. Most experts have always flet he would join his cousins at either BYU or Utah but he insists he is wide open.
DT Kerifi Taula...Soft commit to Arizona who says he still plans to visit on the 22nd. Will he actually visit? Ariona is all over this guy so I say at this point it is a coin flip.
DE Haouli Jamora...Will visit on the 15th. Will come down to Boise, UW and OSU. He visited Boise over the holidays but most feel he is Washington's to lose. He has great film and i would love to see this kid in purple and gold.
DE Josh Shirley...USC, UCLA, and UW are all in the mix at this point. UW has a good shot to land Josh according to what we have been reading on ESPN and Scout.
CB Gregory Ducre...Will decide between UW, Colorado, and ASU. Will visit on the 15th. Most feel he will commit on his visit.
LB VJ Fehoko...Texas Tech is the favorite and his brother goes to school there. The loss of coach Leach could change things for VJ. The question is will he make it into UW's final four if he does change his mind?
LB Hayes Pullard...USC, UCLA, and UW are fighting it out for him. Holt would really like to get this guy but the experts are saying USC or UCLA. He does like Holt quite a bit so perhaps UW will pull off the unexpected coup.
In addition to the players mentioned above LB Garrett Gilliliand and OT Michael Cristie both have verbaled to UW but the coaches are waiting to see how everything shakes out before accepting. We haven't gotten any word on these guys for awhile so we have to wait and see how it will pan out.
USC announced that it has implemented self-imposed sanctions on its men’s basketball program for violating NCAA rules. The sanctions are a result of a University investigation that found NCAA rules violations related to O.J. Mayo, who played for the USC’s men’s basketball team during the 2007-2008 season.
The self-imposed sanctions for the men’s basketball program include a one-year ban on post-season competition following the 2009-2010 regular season, including the Pac-10 Conference basketball tournament; a reduction of one scholarship for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years; a reduction by one of the number of coaches permitted to engage in off-campus recruiting activities during the summer of 2010, and a reduction in the total number of recruiting days by twenty days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-2011 academic year.
I am not sure how the NCAA will react to this even though the Pac 10 was involved in advising the Trojan athletic department on what to do. Frankly it sounds a little light to me even though it hits them in the pocket book. I think a two year post season ban going forward makes more sense. Penalizing the past while lightening up on the future seems like taking the easy way out.
The sanctions don't address football which is till being investigated by the NCAA. I don't expect anything to be decided in that area until the depositions of Reggie Bush, Pete Carroll, and the others involved in the case are made public.
The NCAA definitely wants to do something here but until they have an iron clad case that will stand up in court if challenged chances are they won't do anything serious.
Washington lost to Oregon at home on Saturday and you can look at it two different ways. Washington isn't as good as everyone thought they were or this is a young team that needed a wake up call to start playing the way they should. Quincy Pondexter has done everything you expected he would do this season. The problem seems to be poor play out on the perimeter and the lack of a serious big man to take over the middle.
The key to winning this league is sweeping at home and splitting on the road. An opening split at home against the Oregon schools isn't impossible to recover from but up next is a trip to the desert against the Ariona schools. UW could find itself very easily in a 1-3 hole if they don't get it together during this road trip. Washington needs to start shooting and defending better outside.
The legislative session starts on January 11th and significant groundwork has been laid out for getting a public contribution through King Country tourist taxes toward the remodel of Husky Stadium. The time may be right to get it done this go around. Material and labor costs have fallen to a level which has knocked off over $50 million from the original price tag. The construction jobs created by the project would be a nice shot in the arm in the Puget Sound area. If it does pass look for construction to begin in December of 2010. Washington would then play the 2011 season at Qwest before returning to Husky Stadium in 2012.
Light Rail construction is kicking off in earnest this year and life in the South parking lot will be much different for Husky fans until the rail line opens in 2016. The creation of the ZONE over the practice field on gameday was a success last year that gave Husky fans another option as far as pre game functions go. In 2010 it may be more of a neccesity than an option for a lot of Husky fans with space for parking being limited on the South side of the stadium. A six year inconvenience is quite a bit to put up with but when the light rail is finished it will decrease traffic in the area considerably on game days.