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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 2, 2007 at 10:25 AM

On the schedule, and more

A few interesting comments here in the wake of Derek Johnson’s article on Dawgman.com about UW’s schedule this season.
It’s been well-chronicled here and elsewhere the difficulty of UW’s schedule this year. And as some of you have pointed out, the future schedules don’t get much (if any) easier. UW will host BYU, Oklahoma and Notre Dame next season along with playing all nine Pac-10 teams, meaning that once again, there’s not a walk-over in the bunch.
With all due respect to Derek, however, I was there at Pac-10 media day and I didn’t really hear any resentment in Tyrone Willingham’s voice over the schedule (maybe I just was in a good mood or something). I mostly sensed that he was addressing an obvious question, and I thought his comment about the team taking it on as a challenge was just about what any coach would say.
Willingham was well aware of the schedule, or at least the types of schedules UW would play, when he took over and I haven’t sensed in him an unwillingness to want to continue in that direction. UW finalized the deal to play Nebraska in future seasons about a year ago, something in which Willingham obviously would have had some say.
Also, he and UW AD Todd Turner did take some measures to lessen the blow for 2007. If you remember, shortly after Willingham took over the schedule for this season was changed, moving a home game with Oklahoma from 2007 to 2008 (originally, UW was to play Oklahoma and Ohio State on consecutive weekends). Boise State was moved in to replace Oklahoma (the irony there, huh?, considering how it’s Boise State’s win over Oklahoma last season that now makes UW’s game with Boise State this year look so big).
If I’ve had a quibble with Willingham’s scheduling practices it’s his decision over the Hawaii game a year ago, and instead playing Hawaii this season. I thought all along it made more sense to play Hawaii last season as I thought it was something that team (a lot of veterans who hadn’t had much to cheer about during their time at UW) might rally around.
With this year’s team being younger, and Hawaii suddenly looming as a power, going there this year seems to me a bit more difficult, especially considering the difficulty of the rest of the schedule and the fact that now, there won’t be any break between the Apple Cup and making the trip over there.
I would agree with the main premise of Johnson’s article, however — the Huskies have to start beating Oregon and Oregon State again. But it’s foolish to long for the days when the Huskies did it routinely and with ease — Oregon and OSU are each much better programs than they were 20 years ago and the Huskies should expect nothing but brawls every time they play either of them.
ON PRACTICE: Several of you have asked about the practice schedule for this season and whether any more will be open than in the past. There don’t appear to be any major changes. The first practice Sunday will be open, as has been the custom since Willingham arrived. However, most of the others will only be open for the first 25 minutes, though one other Saturday is scheduled to be open (which was also the same as a year ago) and there is always the chance that a few others could be.
But mostly, it will be the same as before, so full-fledged practice reports won’t be forthcoming here or anywhere else.
OTHER NEWS
— The Huskies have apparently picked up a commitment from RB Demetrius Bronson of Kentwood. That would give UW nine commitments for the Class of 2008.
Cody Pickett has indeed already been cut by the Raiders. The next ex-UW QB Al Davis approaches should run screaming for the exits.
— Here’s a report from Chargers’ camp with the note that Sonny Shackelford scored a TD in practice. Word seems to be it will be a long shot for him to make the team there, however.

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