The Oregon Ducks play the Auburn Tigers for the national championship tonight in prime time. Auburn is favored but I think the Ducks are going to end up winning what should be a close and exciting game. I think Oregon's offense will give the Tigers fits in this one. I think their plucky defense will be able to control Cam Newton enough to come away with the victory.
I think the one thing that gives Oregon the biggest possible edge is the play of special teams. The Ducks are extremely explosive and all that speed that they have stockpiled is going to help score some points tonight. Another thing to consider is turnovers. Both the Ducks and Tigers are good at creating them. Whoever holds the edge at the end of the game is likely going to be the victor.
How many of you Husky fans will be rooting for the Ducks tonight?
I want to go on record again to say that I will be cheering for the Web-Foots. I always cheer for the Pac 10 in bowl games and this is after all a Pac 10 bowl game. I think beating a school from the SEC is always a good thing for the Pac 10. Hanging a loss on Auburn is good for the national perception of the conference.
Personally I have some very good friends who went to school at Oregon. They are big time college football fans who sat through quite a bit of losing until this one shining moment came around. This is a big moment for those guys so I am supporting them just like they supported me when the Huskies were in the same position.
If you aren't cheering for the Ducks I understand that too. Lots of competition, and bad blood between these two schools in the stands, on the field, and even between the administrations. The lack of love between the schools dates back to the late 40's and continues into the present.
I would love to see the SEC and Pac 12 play more inter-sectional games in the future. Hard to believe that the last time a Pac 10 team faced an SEC team in a bowl game was 1989 when Washington had its coming out party against Florida and Emmitt Smith. Perhaps tonight's game will lead to an annual bowl match-up between the two conferences in the future.
Quote of the Week
"I am not a pinch myself kind of guy" - Chip Kelly
We seldom talk about the Hawks on the blog but you really have to hand it to Pete Carroll's team after they first got into the playoffs and now have eliminated the New Orleans Saints in the first round. The Hawks go on the road to face Chicago in the Windy City next weekend.
Eastern rallies to get by Delaware for first FCS Championship
The Huskies may have to contend with two defending national champions in 2011. Of course we have the Ducks but in an attempt to lighten up the schedule the Huskies play Eastern Washington to open the season in 2011. The Eagles beat Delaware Friday night 20-19 to win the FCS national championship.
EWU was down 19-0 in the third quarter when the Eagles started to rally through the air behind the arm of QB Bo Levi Mitchell who was 29 of 43 for 302 yards, 3 TD's for the evening. Remember that name because this kid can play some football and he will challenge our defense in the opener.
A couple of names have popped up on the Stanford coaching search radar. Name number one is Boise State's Chris Petersen. Name number two is former Oregon head coach and current ESPN Football Commentator Mike Bellotti. Brady Hoke of SDSU, Todd Graham of Tulsa, and Jim Mora have also have been mentioned as potential candidates.
Stanford associate head coach Greg Roman and offensive coordinator David Shaw are also being considered for the position which would suit Andrew Luck just fine. He reaffirmed that he is going to stay at Stanford for at least one more year even though Jim Harbaugh is leaving.
With Harbaugh off the market Michigan is turning its attention toward Les Miles. Les has spurned the Wolverines before but this time he may be ready to leave Baton Rouge. Would Bo Pellini be interested in returning to Baton Rouge? He reportedly turned down overtures from Miami and Michigan. If Michigan misses out on Miles again the job could realistically fall to SDSU's Brady Hoke who is also being considered by the Cardinal.
Norm Chow is still has a job. Rick Neuheisel didn't get his top choice at DC. Akeem Ayers and now Rahim Moore are headed to the NFL. It wasn't a good week to be a Bruin. Notice all those UCLA hats at the AAAB? Not one of them was picked up. You don't get any awards for finishing second in recruiting. Rick seems to be in on every top prospect in the country but he isn't reeling them in. The Bruins only have eight known commitments.
We have approximately six spots left to fill after the addition of four star safety James Sample. Here is a list of kids we know that Washington is still in on. This list will change pretty rapidly between now and signing day. Always expect surprises from this staff. Last year it was Sean Parker. Who will it be this year? Things are going to pick up decidedly this week. Washington will have visitors the next three weekends so keep an eye out for surprise visitors.
OT Paulay Asiata............UW lean at this point. Will come down to UW and Colorado.
RB Bishop Sankey.........I keep hearing that UW leads but he is still a soft verbal to WSU.
DT Uriah Grant (JC).......UW stepped up his recruitment with a in home visit.
DE Akeem Gonzales......He could play on either side of the ball but looks like a DE at this point.
CB Marvin Hall.................Can play WR, or CB, and return kicks.
S Patrick Onwuasor....Could he be a big CB? Is he a back up if Sample goes to OSU?
CB Marcus Peters..........Still has visits to Utah and OSU in January.
RB Malcolm Creer..........If Sankey goes elsewhere UW will offer. He is visiting Nebraska.
CB Cedric Parker............No offer yet but UW is interested.
OT Stephan Nembot......He is a WSU verbal who is looking around. Would be a great raw get at 6'7 285.
DT Juda Parker...............If UW doesn't get Gonzalez they could offer Parker. They could even offer both.
Army All American Bowl Impressions
If you follow recruiting this is definitely a fun game to watch because of all of the announcements going on throughout the game. It was really nice to see three future Huskies play in the game. S James Sample from Sacramento's Grant HS declared for Washington during the game.
Here are some impressions I had concerning players of interest in the game.
S James Sample - I just love this kid. He runs really well and hits like a ton of bricks. We have a lot of depth at safety next season but this kid is good enough to compete for a spot in the two deeps right away if needed. I thought he had pretty good coverage skills. He showed good pursuit on special teams which could get him early playing time next season. When he announced all he said was U-DUB Baby!
WR Kasen Williams - He has a soft pair of hands and had a reception in the first half. He had another try that was broken up on an under thrown ball that he wasn't in position to come back for. He disappeared after that so we really didn't get to see what he could do. That happens in All Star games. They either keep throwing it to you or they don't.
TE Austin Seferian - Jenkins - ASJ had a couple of catches for short yardage which is exactly what his role at UW will be next season. I watched his blocking and he did OK but he needs to keep working on it. The potential is there but he needs to be coached up. It is a very good thing that he will be here this spring. He also did some deep snapping during the game.
CB DeAnthony Thomas "Black Mamba" - I would love to see this kid in purple and gold but he will be going to USC. This kid is a physical specimen that has NFL written all over him even though there were receivers who were able to get behind him. He had an interception in the fourth quarter on a tipped ball and like Sample was around the ball all day.
QB Cody Kessler - He was Washington's to lose until his dream school USC offered. He isn't exactly what I would call mobile, but he does have a good arm, and seems to be able to make his throws when he has time. He really wasn't on target during the first half. He did throw a great ball on a roll out to start the second half for a 35 yard TD to give his team a 10 point lead. He had another pretty one to George Farmer in the fourth quarter. I think Kessler is a great looking prospect. He and his fellow West QB's were sacked a dozen times during the game.
DT Viliami Moala -The first impression you get is his size. This guy is just massive. The East had to double team him and he was still pushing guys into the backfield. His pressure is just relentless. Cal is getting themselves a great player. His final three were Cal, Oregon, and Oregon State. He will still take visits to Oregon and Oregon State in January. I think he ends up at Cal but he is far from solid at this point.
DE Colt Lyerla - He is a good looking athlete who may have difficulty qualifying. He chose Oregon during the game which wasn't much of a surprise to me even though USC was in the picture. If he can get his grades together he will have a great career for the Ducks. He has good size and has the sideline to sideline speed of a fast WLB even though he has the body of a DE. He made some good plays during the game and is ready to play at Oregon right away.
DE Juda Parker - I didn't notice him playing until the fourth quarter when he had a very nice tackle for loss near the line of scrimmage. He doesn't have a Washington offer but is interested in the Huskies. From what I read Parker was over matched a bit during the week against this level of competition. He did account well for himself during the game by contributing six tackles, a blocked FG, and a sack of the punter.