Okay, here we go with our first set of answers to your questions for this month. …
Q: Can you provide the results of the poll you took before last season on win/loss record expectations? Now that the season is over it would be nice to compare results vs. expectations. Thanks.
A: Sure. Here is that link, though as you can see it actually called for fans to vote on where UW should be picked in the Pacc-12 North. And as you can also see, the two most popular answers were third (50 percent) and second (33 percent). UW actually finished in fourth in the Pac-12 North at 5-4 behind Oregon and Stanford, each 8-1, and Oregon State at 6-3.
Q: My main question still has to do with whether or not the Pac 12 and other conferences are doing ANYTHING to pressure the NCAA to get the SEC to play more conference games and fewer cupcakes. I’m curious if the Pac 12 commissioner (and other commissioners) even recognize the advantage that the SEC teams have (especially in the rankings and positioning their teams in the 4 team playoff) because of their large conference and lower number of conference games.
A: That’s actually not the kind of thing the NCAA gets involved in. The NCAA’s function — as given to it by the member schools that form the organization — is to organize championships, serve as an enforcement arm, and set rules, mainly. It does not get involved in the details of scheduling other than in terms of setting rules such as 12 games per season, etc. Conferences also are not really in the business of forcing their will on other conferences. How many conference games conferences play is mostly a matter of economics, and the SEC can get away with fewer because most of its schools will sell out any games it plays, opposed to, say, Pac-12 schools, which do not. That, in turn, has caused the Pac-12 and its ADs to want a ninth conference game both for filling up the stadiums and enhancing the TV deal (which was set based on nine conference games per year).
As for any advantage that may give the SEC, I’m sure the SEC would argue that its record in recent BCS title games pretty much speaks for itself. At the moment, it’s pretty hard to make a real argument against the SEC’s dominance.
Q: Who is the guy that sits next to Sark at every press conference but never says a word? I’ve always wondered that.
A: It’s Jeff Bechthold, who is UW’s Director of Athletic Communications. It’s pretty much the usual course for anymore for schools to have press conferences moderated by a school official, and as the head of athletic communications, that role falls on Bechthold at UW.
Q: The Pac 12 North currently has some dominant teams-Oregon, Oregon State and Stanford. Where do you realistically see the Huskies finishing in that division in 2013?
A: It’s still a bit early yet to give predictions that I want to lock myself into for the season — still a lot that can happen to change things. But going with what we know today, I’d put UW either third or fourth behind Oregon/Stanford, with either UW or Oregon State third and the other fourth. I’ll wait until after spring ball to lock myself into any firm picks, though.
Q: Regarding wins and losses what is the all-time best decade (10 yrs.) for the U of W, starting with a year ending in 0, and starting with a year ending in any number. And ditto for the all-time worst decade.
A: As those who read through all the comments saw, this question was quickly answered by another reader, Topdawg. I did just enough checking of this to conclude he’s got it right.
As the reader noted, it’ll be hard to ever top the run of Gil Dobie, who was 58-0-3 from 1908-16. And as could have been guessed, the worst decade was the most recent one.