(editor's note: Aside from his role as a husband, father, salesman of medical contraptions, and primary contributor to the UWdawgpound, Chris Landon is also a super hero crime fighter. It's these last duties that have pulled him away to some far reaches of the world in order to make ours a better place. In his stead, I've been asked to fill his shoes. Since he wears a size 9 (size 7 in his "other" left foot) and I wear and 11 1/2 or 12, it shouldn't be a difficult task. But I thank you for your patience, regardless....)
Spring football is nearly upon us. That, officially for me anyway, begins the countdown to the 2015 season. It's a long, slow, countdown that lacks in sports to non-baseball fans like me, but the portion of the DVR that isn't filled with episodes of the wife's shows like "The Good Wife" and "Madam Secretary" will get a workout with Husky Classics like the 1994 Husky game against Ohio State, the 1999 battle versus Stanford, an obligatory watching of The Whammy, and probably a Nebraska beating or two, among others. In the down time, here's the answer to a question or two of yours, the loyal reader (and feel free to provide better answers of your own in the comments section):
ElvislovesUW asks: Does the UW football program incorporate flexibility, suppleness, and twitch fiber techniques? This would likely cut down on injuries during the regular season as well as quicken their agility.
This is a good question. We don't have a lot of specific knowledge of the UW's strength and conditioning program, and are left to glean an insight based on the limited interviews we see from head strength coach Tim Socha. I still take a lot away from an early spring interview in 2014 when he said that one of the first things he did when he was hired was get rid of many of the machines in the brand-new Husky weight room and replace them with free weights. That, and an emphasis of lifts that emphasize compound movements.
I'm not an expert in weight training, but what I know about human evolution and physiology says that the things you are looking for are more a byproduct than a means unto themselves, and that what Socha and his team are doing are the best way to achieve these goals.
RBinOR wants to know: What is the UWDP's take on what seems to be an enhanced push into Texas by our staff? Not that I expect it to supplant Cal in volume, but it could be huge. Will there be a Texas leg to the Washington stool?
The obvious example here is the flirtation of Chris Warren Jr. with the UW last cycle. While it didn't amount to anything, it was pretty fun while it lasted...
Recruiting is all about relationships, and the Huskies have hired a bunch of guys that have at least some minor inroads to the Lone Star state. But it's worth pointing out that these coaches, while at Boise State, were mostly in on second and third-tier recruits that the likes of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, etc. were passing on in the name of bigger fish. These same coaches have a bit more cache behind them now holding a Washington offer behind them, but it's still going to be incredibly difficult to pry one of the big names away from the local schools.
If I had to bet real money on it, I'd bet that the UW's recruiting in Texas mostly amounts to mining a few less-heralded athletes each year, and maybe being in on a prime recruit every couple of years that has a mom that really likes Chris Petersen....
Ron asks: What is the real reason for Huskies dumb down non league schedule fa tarting last year through 2021. Rutgers, Idaho, Portland St in 2016. Rutgers, Montana in 2017. North Dakota, Nevada, BYU in 2018. Eastern Wash, Hawaii, BYU in 2019' finally Michigan in 2020 but als Montana again. 4 Power 5 teams in 6 years and Rutgers are 2 of them.
The answer, simple or otherwise, is money. Schools like Eastern Washington, Idaho, Portland State, Idaho State, Sacramento State, etc., will play the UW on the road with no return trip because it means a significant amount of money to their yearly athletic department revenues. And for the UW, these games are part of a season ticket package that guarantees ticket sales and associated donations.
With an unbalanced conference schedule that has four home conference games every other year, the UW athletic department is going to ensure that the team has no fewer than six home games a year, and will work to ensure there's seven. In this day and age, the only way to do that is to schedule non-conference games that the average fan could care less to see.
KentP writes: Sarkisian was a QB and it seems to me a pretty good coach, how could he miss so badly on Cyler Miles?
This is a really tough question to answer. A lot of people "missed" on Cyler Miles, not just Steve Sarkisian.
You probably have to look at his recruitment. This was a borderline elite player, with offers from all over the country, including the likes of Florida, Clemson, and USC to go along with his Washington offer. He was and Elite 11 finalist. He played for a very successful high school program.
It's very possible that every school that recruited him simple "missed" on Miles - it happens. It's also possible that all of these college coaches saw a high school kid with tremendous upside, but Miles was resistant to the changes that he had to make.
It's also possible that Miles is just one of those guy that slipped through the cracks.
I'd probably blame Miles' junior and senior high school coaches more than Sarksian for his lack of development. This is a kid with potential that's through the roof, but because nobody taught him how to throw, he's probably going to finish his career at a lower division, with zero pro prospects.
Dawg 54 asks: We often focus on the new guys, RS and incoming freshman and their potential impact to 2015 results. Are there any 4th or 5th year guys that you would think would be an unexpected surprise (like A Hudson was).
A great question, probably the hinge point of the entire 2015 season, Just looking at the roster, those guys are probably Travis Feeney, Dexter Charles, Brandon Beaver, Jarrett Finau, Tani Tupou, Corey LIttleton, Scott Lawyer, Josh Perkins, Siosfi Tufunga......It's a pretty small list. It's a young roster.
If I was handicapping guys that would blow up next year, I'd say:
Anything beyond that is a crap shoot. 'there are simply way too many moving parts with this team.
There you go, Husky fans. Spring is very nearly upon us. You keep asking the questions, we'll keep pretending to answer them.