Monday, January 30, 2006

BIG WEEK

Big week in the land of NW football. Signing day is Wednesday, and the Superbowl is, of course, on Sunday.

First off: Brinkhater was thrilled to see the return of Bumpus to the classroom and gridiron. Add his return to the (verbal) signing of Hutsona and you have a recipe for a special teams assault that will allow us to compete with Auburn in the heat.

So far, the class looks good. Brinkater is still hoping for a 4 star CB to come in at the 11th hour. One can only hope to dream. Speaking of dreaming, I was glad to see Jimmy Montgomery sign on to the blue and gold instead of the dreaded Purple and Gold. So sorry, Tyrone, but you did a GREAT job, of losing your #1 recruit.... Terrific job!

In terms of that little game known as the Superbowl, well, Brinkhater has you covered there. Here's the simple truth:

1) Both teams will struggle to run the ball and will rely on the SHORT passing game to move the ball and score.

2) Both QBs will be efficient.

3) Both Defenses will play well.

4) For the Hawks to win, Jeremy Stevens must have 7-8 catches for 70+ yards.

5) For the Steel to win, Randall El must continue to be used in creative ways.

6) Both kickers will make their field goal attempts.

In the end, this game comes down to special teams. IF the Steel makes a big return--and I think they will--then that would be the difference. If they don't, that will be the difference.

Here are Brinkater's fence-sitter picks:

With a Randell El Return to the Red Zone:

Steelers 27 Hawks 24

Without a Randell El return:

Hawks 24 Steelers 20

Your MVP will be either Matt Hasselbeck or Randell El Read more ...plus comments

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wednesday AM thoughts

Now that the Locklear controversy is over for now and he will start on Sunday, I'm ready to think about the game. Acutally I've been thinking about this week's game since Sunday night, and I've come to a conclusion. Don't believe the Carolina hype! There is a lot more to their act than what the national media is building, and here's why.

I’ll admit, on Monday/Tuesday I was starting to buy into it, but then I found some perspective. Consider the following. Only one team has won 3 road playoff games to make it to the Superbowl, the ’85 Patriots. The Panthers have beat up on two very inexperienced, choke prone QBs and are now suddenly unbeatable road warriors (so were the Redskins’ remember?)?

It's no accident that Carolina's four-game road winning streak in the playoffs ties a league record -- it's almost impossible to sustain playoff success when you have to travel and don't get a week off to rest for it.

Now, take an honest look at the Panther team. No doubt they have been playing very well, and they are a good team. So are we. We’re supposed to fear the Panthers because they’ve won 3-straight games, all on the road. Well, coming into Seattle, the Redskins had won 6 straight, 4 of which were on the road. Of course, we’ve won 12 meaningful games straight.

We’re supposed to fear the Panthers because they went in to New York and beat Eli’s Giants. No doubt putting up 23 points on that LB depleted NY defense, down to street free agents and practice squad LB's starting in the playoffs. Of course, this is the same NY team that the Redskins beat 35-20 two weeks earlier. And the Giants were desperate enough in their defensive backfield that they coaxed Terrell Buckley out of retirement to cover Steve Smith! Yes, the same defense that the high flying Redskins’ offense scored 35 on. Of course, we held them to 10 points even with 3 turnovers.

We’re supposed to fear the Panthers because they went into Chicago and beat the #2 seed. I’ll be honest, I was surprised they scored 29 against Chicago. While I’m being honest, I was completely shocked that the Bears played straight 2 and 3-deep zones most of the game leaving their #2 corner, Tillman, alone with Steve Smith. Is there any coincidence that Tillman was victimized three times by Smith, all on some strange plays? Two of the long TD passes were with Tillman flat-out falling down halfway into the route, and it was an easy 6 for Delhomme to just throw it up there. The third strange one had Tillman actually intercepting the ball, but Smith wrestled it away from him on the ground and the ref had no choice but to award the ball to Smith. Note that these 3 plays were 120 yards out of Smith's 218 for the day. Anyway, leaving Tillman on Smith one-on-one? That’d be like us leaving Herndon 1-on-1 with Smith. Sorry, I just don’t see that happening.

We’re supposed to fear the Panther defense. I mean, they shut out Eli right? Well they also allowed 21 points to an abysmal Grossman led Bear offense. Grossman’s numbers were appalling, he went 17/41 for 192 yards and 1TD/1INT… 41 attempts for a QB who’s played 6 quarters this year? And they were in the game until the end?

Are you afraid? We heard a lot of the same before the Redskins game. Actually, these Panthers are more similar to the Skins’ then you may expect… better QB, better receiver (not that much better), better cornerbacks, but no Sean Taylor and a 3rd string RB.

Finally, the home field advantage might be the biggest thing this Sunday, and not just because of false-start penalties or the inability of Delhomme to check out of trouble. I talked to an older gentleman behind me at the game on Saturday and while I don't know his name, it's pretty obvious he's played some ball in his day (a huge, older african-american man that looked like he could play offensive guard RIGHT NOW). Anyway, he told me something very interesting, something that you normally don't hear about. He said the noise affects the offensive line the most out of any position on the field, period, and here's why.

In today's game, so many times the offensive line makes last-second adjustments to their blocking patterns, particularly on running plays. The problem is that the lineman can only turn their heads and look around, but they can't make any hand checks or anything non-verbal or else it's a false-start. This guy told me this was a gigantic factor on Saturday, because it was so loud the Redskins o-lineman couldn't hear their center changing blocking assignments. He told me to watch Lofa right before the snap, and he was right - Lofa would come up to the line a few seconds before the snap, and would move the d-tackles to different slots based on Lofa's superior knowledge of the opposing D (he also said that according to who he has talked to, Lofa is the smartest, most prepared rookie linebacker in franchise history, and is probably one of the most advanced rookies to ever play the position). Anyway, after he said that, I swear to God on 3 straight running plays, Lofa would run up to the line and adjust Tubbs and Darby to different angles. Then, you'd see the entire Redskins line look around at each other trying to adjust, but it was so loud that they can't hear the center just a few yards away! The guy told me that's one of the biggest reasons this year that the Hawks only allowed one 100+ yard rusher, and that was to Tiki Barber on a very long run, deep into an OT game. And, he said o-lineman are creatures of habit and they will never make a drastic change to their line calls just for one game, so they come in and try to wing it. They have no idea how hard it is until that first quarter or so, and that all they hear is white noise at the line. It's crazy. Clinton Portis said as much, he said in the entire first quarter, he couldn't hear a thing standing right behind Brunell! Anyway, it was pretty interesting and I was laughing, the guy was uncanny in his timing!

Bottom line? The Panthers deserve respect, they’ve accomplished a lot. But don't listen to the so-called experts predicting that Goings will top Shaun Alexander by 40 yards (Don Banks of SI wrote that Goings will top Shaun by 40 yards this Sunday!). But, they aren’t just going to roll over for us. Obviously we can’t have 3 turnovers again, but two of those were special teams f-ups and the third was a phantom fumble by Shaun who was untouched. We won’t see that again. I just know we are the better, more complete team and we’re at home. Don’t believe the hype. Smart money's on the home team...

Seahawks 27, Panthers 23. I'm bringing the digital camera on Sunday, hopefully around 6:30 OR 7:00 I'll have some memorable photo ops! Read more ...plus comments

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bumpus kicked off team

Not good.

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/breaking/story.asp?ID=5749

Not good at all.

Remember the inside word this summer when he was almost kicked out then? Well there you go. This was a bigger problem than we knew, I guess, but this might be a good thing for Bumpus. Much like it was good for Mark Fields, who if you remember flunked out as a sophomore and people thought he was gone forever, but he went and got his grades straightened out at a JC and came back for player-of-the-year and first-round NFL draft pick after his senior year. Leon Bender was the same deal, played great as a pup in 1994, then flunked out for 1995, but came back strong in 1996 and 1997. Bumpus is talented enough to play on Sundays, and hopefully, HOPEFULLY he has good people around him to keep his chin up and this won't be the end. Maybe this is a bigger reason as to why all the JC WR's, as well as the idea of losing Hill?

I'm starting to feel more confident on the Hawks as this week comes to a close. I'm too close to it and the heart always gets in the way of the head, and from the outside looking in, very few think a rested, heatlhy, #1 seed will lose to a #6 seed that barely got out of it's own way to win last week. The experts that I've been listening to seem to have it nailed, and several outside the usual homer-pickers are saying it should be the Seahawks in a cake-walk.

I looked at last year's NFC wildcard game that was similar to what the Redskins did last week, and the comparision is how the Rams went into Qwest Field and got the W when Engram failed to hold a TD pass on the last play from Hass. Everyone was pumped up on the Rams, hey, that offense sure looked good, watch out for the Rams! They went back on the road to #2 seed Atlanta and got absolutely BLOWN OUT!

The bottom line? It's just almost too much to expect a low seed to go on the road in the playoffs in consecutive weeks and win, especially that second game where the high seed has rested and is ready to win at home no less. The NFL got this right, really, in rewarding the high seeds with rest and home-field advantage. The regular season, in hindsight, is just so GOD DAMN important! History bears this out.

So, I have a pretty good feeling right now that we're going to win on Saturday and we're going to the NFC Championship against Carolina. That might be the bad news though! Carolina is just about as complete as the Hawks, so just hope they get the absolute crap kicked out of them by the Bears and they have bruises on their bruises by the time they show up here. Read more ...plus comments

Monday, January 09, 2006

Seahawks blog - at least for this week

As Lawson suggested, this should be Seahawk-centered for the remainder of their playoff run. I'm down with that.

However, I'm suddenly feeling VERRRRRYYYYY nervous about this Redskins game. I know, their total offensive output of 120 yards is an average quarter for the Seahawks, but that Skins D played their butts off.

First off, the positives for the Hawks:
Luckily the Skins are beat up on D, with Springs hobbled by a bad groin and starting D-end Renaldo Wynn out with a broken arm and DT Brandon Noble also out. The Hawks, early in the season, at Washington, did put up 394 yards of total offense against this defense with all their weapons, and even drove the field when they needed to and put the ball into the end zone late in the 4th quarter. So you have to feel better about the offense vs. Redskins D out here.
The Skins are hot, winning 6 straight, but that might not be such a good thing for them. You have to feel their luck has run out, if not for a dropped TD pass in the 4th quarter, they might not even be alive. Chris Simms SUCKS, I don't care what anyone says but that guy is lucky if he even cracks 200 yards passing and makes a ton of mistakes, but he still almost beat them.
Portis has two injured shoulders, and Brunell has a bum knee that has limited his mobility. Outside of Moss, nobody scares you offensively on the outside, as David Patten and Chris Cooley are really the only other weapons of note and they do their damage underneath.

Negatives:
The Skins killed the Hawks on 3rd down in their last meeting, converting something like 15 conversions on 3rd down. Brunell made some huge plays with his arm and his feet against a D still trying to figure it out. But those young kids, they really aren't rookies anymore so the Hawks D will be better, especially with the return of their DB's.
Portis is explosive and can hit the HR on any single carry, so you have to kind of hold your breath every time he touches the ball. But, he has TWO injured shoulders, and you have to wonder how he'll respond once he gets pounded early in the game.
The Skins D is fast and physical, and they are extremely well-coached by the highest-paid d-coordinator in the NFL.

Now, here's why I'm suddenly nervous about this week:
The Hawks defensive approach of bend-but-don't-break might actually play into the strength of the Redskins. Brunell doesn't have the greatest arm anymore, but he is pretty accurate and has great touch if he has time to set up and do his thing. If the Hawks keep the safeties deep, afraid of giving up the deep ball, the middle of the field could really be soft and guys like Cooley and Portis out of the backfield might chew up a lot of real-estate.

Think about this - Tampa Bay plays the best, most physical cover-2 defense in the league. They jam you at the line on every play, and their corners not only blanket you, but they make plays all over the field. Their linebackers run like deer and hit like trucks, they blitz like crazy and love to bring pressure, but even their front-4 gets to the passer as well as anybody in the NFC. They absolutely embarrassed the Redskins O for 4 quarters as the Skins just couldn't make a big play. This much we know, this much we saw.

But the Hawks are the complete opposite of Tampa Bay. The Hawks won't jam anyone, they'll play Trufant and Dyson 7-8 yards off the line every time, and they never put more than 7 in the box except for the red zone. It's similar to New England, not in the 3-4 sense, but in the idea that they keep everything in front of them and they decide out of the shoot that "we will give you yardage between the 20's, but once you enter the red zone, we'll tighten things up. You will not get into the end zone more than once or twice at the most, for the majority of the time you will have to settle for field goals. And if you get frustrated and take shots down the field, we will be waiting and you will make mistakes." That's what they've done, all year long. And 13 out of 16, that approach has been perfect. But to me, the scariest thing is it seems to play right into what Brunell and the Skins will want to do. If you are a member of the Redskins, what is your approach?? You can't come in thinking we're going to get into a shoot-out. You have to take the idea that they will be methodical, they will run the ball in old-school Joe Gibbs style, they will control the clock and they will throw when they have to underneath, moving the chains, and most of all, KEEP THAT HAWKS OFFENSE OFF THE DAMN FIELD!

I think right now, 21 or 24 points wins this game. Even though the Hawks will give up yards by the bunches, they are #1 or at last check, #2 in the NFL at red zone defense. They just keep teams out of the end zone, and that Redskins offense, you just can't see them getting more than 2 TD's in that game. I could be wrong, and you never know, but I just can't see it. The early Vegas line had the Hawks at 8 1/2 pt faves, which I think is too high and I bet by kickoff it's down to about 6. I think we'll see a lot of money thrown at the Redskins side of the table. But right now, in the end, I'm going with the odds and the stat that NO NFC team as the 1-seed has lost it's first playoff game since the playoffs expanded to 6 teams in 1990. I'm saying 27-21, Hawks.

It's going to be very interesting, that's for sure! I have that pit in my stomach feeling right now, because I actually will be there the rest of the season to witness this thing first-hand. I almost would rather go on a long drive up to the mountains with my family next Saturday afternoon, just remove myself completely from it and then around 4:30 turn on KIRO on the drive back to hear how things went. But, no, I made the financial and emotional investment in this team and I'll be there with my wife, rain or shine, and see what happens! Read more ...plus comments

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Great Cougar weekend!


First, the really huge stuff - HILL IS BACK.

I know, I know, if he would have announced he was going pro, I probably would have been on here to say that we'll be ok, and I would have highlighted the returning guys like Bumpus, Jordan, Gibson, and TE Boyd to go along with a whole rash of newcomers. BUT when you can bring back what is easily the #2 WR in the Pac-10 (next to Dwayne Jarrett, who I believe will leave USC after next year as one of their greatest WR's ever), well, it's GIGANTIC.

Think of the security blanket of having #83 on the field. Think of how huge he was when healthy, 240 yards and 3 TD's on the road vs. Cal? He's a tremendous player, and when you can return a potential first-team all-American candidate and a 1st-2nd round NFL draft choice to what is going to be a potent offense, it's A GREAT DAY.

We might be REALLY good next year, as in 8-9 wins good, if as Lawson says - the D improves. Is there reason to think that will be the case? Absolutely. The d-line will be better with Johnson and Ropati healthy, along with an improving Ahmu for depth. They have host of choices to replace Braidwood at one D-end, while Mkristo is set to have a huge double-digit sack senior season (by the way, he ran on the court last night waving a small WSU flag after the upset at UW!). The LB's will be better, as Trent won't be so scared and you will see a hell of a lot more instincts and reactions vs. thinking too much and being two steps behind. Davis and Dildine will be solid on the outside. The DB's will be better as well, I love our safety combo of Frampton and Abdullah but I think the corners will be much better as Brackenridge has his house in order and is regarded as the best pure cover CB we have.

Add it all up on D? With the kind of scoring ability we are bringing back next year, even if the WSU D improves to 5th in the conference, which is a big possibility, then 9 wins might be a cinch!! We can break this thing down deeper after spring ball, see what shakes out, who emerges, who gets hurt, etc, but I couldn't feel any better about next year than I do right now. Hill is our superstar, our Reggie Williams type player and with all his ability and his desire for a scary senior year, there are a lot of Pac-10 d-coordinators shaking their head, thinking "how the hell are we going to stop that passing game next year??"

Other quick stuff - our source tells me that the first phase of stadium renovation will begin as soon as the 2006 season ends. Phase 1 is going to be the stadium way renovation, where it will be totally opened up as the grand entrance to the stadium. More seats will be added, all the concessions will be improved, etc. That's the good news.

The bad news? Fund raising just hasn't been what they hoped. Many "whales" just haven't stepped up like they were planning. And, the ones that are writing checks are contributing far smaller amounts than originally hoped. BUT, Rawlins and Sterk are feeling serious heat right now to, as they say, "get the shovels in the ground" and start building something to show the donors, get some momentum going towards what they ultimately envision as a serious jewel of a stadium!

There are some other things they are working on, such as naming rights to the field/stadium, and even a Safeco-Field type idea of selling bricks with donor names on them, things like that. Once this silent phase of fund-raising ends, things will become public and the serious money time will be here. I know I'll be ready to contibute whatever I can, at least in buying season tickets next year.

Recruiting is coming along, with a serious sleeper the Cougs just landed. Kevin Kooyman was not only a state champion wrestler, but an all-SPSL performer on O and D. 6-6 and 215 and supposedly an exceptional, fluid athlete with 4.6 quicks, he had been under the radar for a while yet recruiting heated up late for him. Maybe another sleeper in the Rien Long - Mkristo Bruce mold of tall and athletic? Maybe that 215 will turn into 265 as a pass-rushing D-end, just like Mkristo?? We shall see.

The other huge get of late is Anthony Houston, a 6-4, 200 lb, 4.5 speedy WR from San Diego and was heavily recruited. He always loved the WSU offense and preferred the smaller atmosphere over big-city, and while he actually got offers from Miami, Nebraska, Colorado and west-coast schools like Cal, Arizona and OSU, the Cougs nabbed him! One quote said that if the ball is in the air, he truly believes it's his ball and he can go up and get it over anyone. Gotta love that. Combine that with the JC kid, Rabb, who is all of 6-6, and JC WR Greg Walker who is 6-4, this is easily the tallest group of WR's that the Cougs have landed. Can you ever remember WR's coming here going 6-4, 6-6 and 6-4?? Pretty exciting stuff!

Then you had the WSU upset over #10 (OVERRATED) UW. Even without Low, the starting PG, they pulled it off and even better, they battled to come back in that game and made clutch shots to finish it off. Don't look now, but the Cougs are 9-3 with two of their losses to AZ and Gonzaga and now have a ranked opponent in the W column. Bennett said it best when Low was injured: "If you can't overcome the loss of one player - a player as good as Low - you haven't built a program." The fact that they won like that without him? Wow. In three years, he's taken this program from a complete piece of crap to suddenly a team that nobody will want to play! It might be boring at times, but Bennett Ball works! I just love the fact that the best recruiter we've had in a long time will be taking over as HC next year, and there are many that believe Tony is going to be a great one. Just hope he sticks around, because you know after a few winning seasons, his name will be on every short list of hot coaching candidates. Who'daTHUNKIT??? Read more ...plus comments

Monday, January 02, 2006

Why the Cougs must replace Bill Doba

Not to be a wet blanket (emphasis on WET, I swear it's rained for a month straight around here), but with all the bowl activity the last few days and BCS bowls firing up, I decided to start out the 2006 year with a look around at the have's and have-not's, and try to figure out what our Cougs are doing. I had a good chat with UW royalty over the holidays, and I have a fresh, "outsiders" perspective on our program and really, how far we have fallen behind.

This chat bore a new theory in my mind. I never thought Doba was a bad hire, and like a lot of people, in fact I thought he was perfect at the time to keep things going as they were, to more or less mind the store until the next guy is ready. But, the last week or so, my thoughts are different.

Bottom line? LONG-TIME assistant coaches just don't win! At least they don't win once their recruits are fully in the program and it becomes their show. And, I'm not talking some hot-shot, up and coming assistant like a Tedford or someone of that ilk. I'm talking long-time, 15-20 years of carrying someone else's luggage before taking over the helm. Want some proof?

The chat I had mainly highlighted one thing - they (UW) had made head coach mistakes by taking the easy answer at a difficult time. Lambo and Gilby were in the right place at the right time to keep the beat going and not rock the boat too much. They were decent ideas at the time, but things soured fast once a few years passed and their true, assistant-only stripes were shown.

See, being a head coach, especially today, is a hell of a lot different than it used to be. The coaches today are more rock-star than they ever were, with agents constantly looking for the next big gig. The demands on their time is unprecedented. And, the competition is bigger than ever, and you are criticized more than at any other time in this sport for everything you do, on and off the field.

Check out some prominent programs that took the easy way out, and are paying for it now:

1) Miami - look at what has happened to them since Butch Davis left. Larry Coker was a long-time assistant and won initially when Davis left, but what has happened since? Anyone that witnessed their embarrassing blowout to LSU the other night would agree that they are nothing like they used to be. Sure, they fired 4 assistants today, but the assistants aren't the problem. Larry Coker is the problem.

2) UW - Their current state can be blamed at the feet of the guitar-playing hippee who loved to cheat, but it's really not all his fault. One thing that clown could do was recruit, and he brought in big-name players from the day he showed up. Same thing at Colorado. But, look back at how horrible UW became when long-time assistant Lambright took over. Serious NFL talent was still in the pipeline as they were living off their early-90's success, but they fell apart to barely winning seasons. It was obviously worse with Gilby (who was a FAILURE as a head coach, only won anything his first year with Snyder's leftovers). Hard as it is to write, but UW is going to come back eventually because they have a real head coach. A head coach that has some personality, and is a long-time head coach. They won't be winning the Rose Bowl any time soon, but they will return to a winning, solid, 7-4 program.

3) Florida - Steve Superior won huge at Florida for many years, even getting a national title and another title game appearance. Long-time assistant Ron Zook takes over, and they sink to levels they haven't seen. Florida will be back now that they have Urban Meyer, you KNOW it's a matter of time. They have a real head coach.

4) Nebraska - Tom Osbourne steps down, the long-time assistant Frank Solich takes over, team experiences moderate success but not good enough, and is fired after 3 years. Bill Callahan is OK, but he's also a super bowl head coach.

5) Notre Dame - Long-time assistant Bob Davie takes over for Lou Holtz. Doesn't get the job done, and by 2001, Notre Dame hires the hottest candidate on the planet at the time, Willingham. Only now are they recovering, and while yes, Weis was a long-time NFL assistant, he was never able to get a head NFL job for a large part because of his, well, gross appearance. Image has a lot to do with it. He always wanted to be a head coach, always interviewed for head jobs, but never won the gig. The man is brilliant, and a great coach that a lot of teams flat-out missed the boat with, and Notre Dame is going to be at the top for years to come.

6) WSU - like it or not, Mike Price is a very good (not great) head coach. Before him, Erickson was known as a very good coach. Think about this though - where did the Cougs find Price and Erickson? They were head coaches of lesser programs, looking to move up the ladder. They also had age on their side, both in their early 40's and dying for a shot. They were young, hungry and driven.

We know what Erickson could do, looking at all the success he has had at the NCAA level. But Price? It took a while and he was inconsistent at WSU, but now? He has proven that he is an excellent football coach by taking a HORRIBLE, lost, who-cares program like UTEP to consecutive bowls. This is a team that won 1 game the season before he showed up, now they are a bowl team. That would be the same thing as taking over IDaho and going 8-3 and going bowling. Pretty much impossible, right?

Meanwhile, Doba's first year saw a 10-win season, but truth be told, that was with a ton of seniors that were used to winning with a dynamic Mike Price in control. Now we've had consecutive losing seasons, and certainly no guarantee we'll even be back to a bowl game next year. I'm hopeful because I think we'll have a lot of talent in place, but nothing is for sure.

I look around the Pac-10, and teams like OSU did it the right way. They are in the same neighborhood as we are, they are a legit comparison. It's a deal where they weren't afraid to hire real head coaches, just like WSU did back in the late 80's. I know, I mean every NCAA head coach has to start somewhere, and Mike Riley was an assistant for a while, but he's a guy who always asipred to be a head coach. They weren't afraid to go out and hire Dennis Erickson, and then got Riley back. They resisted the urge to reach down and promote a long-time loyal to the program guy, the "easy" hire.

Arizona has a guy in Stoops that yes, was an assistant, but has wanted to be a head coach all along. Fiery, yes, but a dynamic personality with youth and energy and they are recruiting like gang-busters down there right now. They are on their way.

ASU has underachieved, but they were able to get the "hot name" at the time, Koetter, and they have a solid, winning foundation in place to win for a long time.

Cal has Tedford, who was the hottest coach in America a year ago and while he was an assistant, he always aspired to be a head man. They are going to contend for a LONG time, at least until the NFL calls.

Stanford with Walt Harris has a ways to go, but again, they got a real head coach.

UCLA went with Dorrell, a young assistant with the burning desire to be a head man, and that is really starting to work out.

We know Belotti is the dean of Pac-10 coaches and has a monster team on his hands for next year and beyond.

I won't even waste space mentioning Pete Carroll. We know how that's working out.

Where does that leave Doba and the Cougs? In my mind, we are lightyears behind our competition. Rank the Pac-10 head coaches, and is there any doubt why we are 9-13 the last two years, and HOPEFULLY 7-4 next year?

Ask yourself this - how many times have we heard that Doba never even wanted to be a head coach? That his last head job was back in the 70's in high school? There were stories that in the recent past, teams like Indiana and Ball State had called Doba to interview for the head coaching position, but he said no. He was content with being a d-coordinator. He was the right hire at the time, but I don't believe in it anymore.

I also don't believe Levy is the answer either. Too long an assistant that hasn't even interviewed for head jobs. He's got offensive lifer written all over him.

There is something to be said in hiring a dynamic, successful, driven head coach. These are guys with huge ego's that never wanted to take the back seat to anyone. They don't care about having to be the bad guy. Doba is a great guy, so many positive things you hear about him, you just know he's a wonderful man. But is he a good head coach? No. Isn't it time to admit that there really is something to the saying of "once a long time assistant, always a long time assistant?"

So what is the answer? I think it's obvious given our location, budget, etc, that we aren't 1) in a position to replace Doba until the contract runs out, OR he retires; and ) we aren't in a position to swoop in and steal anyone of quality from a BCS conference. I think it's got to be either a hot-shit assitant from a BCS conference, someone like Stoops, just full of energy and desire to be a head coach and build something. Or, a successful head man from a D-2 school, or a 1-AA like Paul Wulff from Eastern, someone like that.

OR, finally, maybe what TT said. Maybe Rosie really is the answer. Former NFL QB, a cocky a-hole with a huge ego that would love to be head coach. Maybe the answer is already known in Rosie, and maybe Sterk is just waiting out the Doba era?

Anyway, unless a huge sack of cash shows up at Sterk's doorstep, we're stuck for the next 3 seasons. I just hope we don't plummet to UW-levels, because if we don't score a TD with 1 minute to go vs. UW?? Well guess what. We WOULD be UW junior. Read more ...plus comments