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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 18, 2006 at 11:41 AM

Parsing the picks

Arrived home last night to find both the Sports Illustrated and Sporting News college preview issues sitting in the mail box.
Of the two, I found Sports Illustrated far more entertaining and illuminating.
Sporting News wasted a lot of space letting us know that Arizona QB Willie Tuitama would rather have fast food for breakfast than any other meal and prefers Jessica Simpson to Lindsay Lohan.
It also relied heavily on “observations” from unnamed Pac-10 coaches, who apparently were unnamed because most of their observations were vapid, at best.
For instance, one of their anonymous coach’s comments about the Huskies was that “they don’t compare with what they used to be during their heyday.”
Really.
Was it that 3-19 record and two last-place finishes the last two years that tipped you off? Good thing they got an unnamed coach to say that since nobody else would have noticed.
Said unnamed coach also said, “I can’t put my finger on Washington’s problem.” Real good analysis there. Maybe it’s three coaches in four years and NCAA chaos and lax recruiting, etc., etc., Not hard to find some reasons. Instead, TSN decided to quote an unnamed coach saying he can’t think of any reasons for UW’s slide. Good use of anonymity.
They also quoted another coach as saying, “I think [Arizona State coach] Dirk Koetter does what he does.” Whatever the heck that means.
TSN picked UW last in the Pac-10 and No. 83 in the country, but based on the quality of information it appears to be getting, it’s hard to take it seriously.
In another move, TSN picked Oregon — which went 10-2 last season and which it ranks No. 22 in the country — as its “sleeper” team in the conference. Apparently just ahead of that other sleeper team, USC.
Sports Illustrated was no kinder to UW, picking the Huskies to go 2-10 for the season and tied for last in the conference at 1-8 in Pac-10 play, apparently a win over Oregon State since SI also picked the Beavers to go 1-8 in conference play.
And in its national rankings, SI pits the Huskies No. 98 out of 119 teams behind the likes of opening opponent San Jose State (94), Louisiana-Lafayette (87) and Central Michigan (83).
Seems a little low despite the record of the past two years, but until UW starts winning some games, hard for anyone on Montlake to really complain. It also may be indicative of what SI thinks of the Pac-10, which it ranks as only the fifth-best conference.
SI did select Isaiah Stanback as one of its five “players to watch” from unranked teams in the conference and at least seems clued in to what the Huskies plan to do this season, writing that Stanback “has the experience and scrambling ability to energize the offense.”
SI writes that Louis Rankin will “likely be the Huskies’ starter” at tailback though it offers no reason for why that would be when Kenny James has been named by coaches as the starter throughout camp, though maybe it’s because of James’ injury.

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