Here we go with another round of questions and answers. …
Q: Any idea what time the Boise State game is and when we can buy single tickets?
A: No times for any games will be set until May/June or so, at the earliest, when the TV networks make their first selections of games for the 2013 season. With UW-Boise State being an early-season, high-profile game, however, I would imagine that one will be picked up then. As for when single game tickets are available, that also usually happens in the spring, after the season ticket period plays out. I will pass that info along on here when it becomes available. For now, here is a link to the UW FAQ section regarding tickets that also has some other info that may help.
Q: Will there be a picture day this year at Husky Stadium?
A: Probably not. UW athletic director Scott Woodward said during a media briefing last month updating the renovation of Husky Stadium that it is unlikely the school will be able to hold any public events there prior to the Boise State game.
Q: Back in 1989 Washington beat Florida in a bowl game. Since then, what is the record of all the PAC vs all the SEC teams? Or 25 years back…or 15 years back, etc.?
A: Here are a couple of different metrics on that.
First, here is a breakdown from Times columnist Jerry Brewer last fall showing the Pac-12 as 12-11 against the SEC since 2000. The Pac-12 lost both games it played against the SEC last year — UW against LSU and Arizona State against Missouri — so that record would now be 12-13.
Here is another that includes some links to various different breakdowns. But as it shows, the overall record now is 66-40-5 in favor of the SEC.
Q: Do you agree that Kendl Taylor seemed likely a highly underutilized player in 2012 (and a possible break-out star in 2013)? Bishop Sankey’s performance likely kept Taylor off the field, but Taylor showed more versatility and big-play ability in his limited action. With a team in 2012 that seemed to be lacking playmakers on offense, I would have thought we’d see more Taylor spelling Sankey, in tandem with Sankey, or in the slot. Maybe that’s too much for a freshmen, but I’d like to see Sark find a role for him next year. He seems like a better (and healthier) version of Jesse Callier — though I think there is room for everyone to carve a niche next year.
A: I think I’d agree that Taylor could be a breakout-type player in 2013. I’m not sure I’d agree he was underused in 2012. They put a lot on his plate with moving him from receiver to tailback after the first game of the season, a hard transition to make in-season, and especially for a true freshman. There was a predictable learning curve there. Also, as you note, the way Sankey came on I think made it difficult to justify taking him off the field much. Sankey proved to be one of those guys that the more you used him, the better he seemed to get.
Going forward, UW does appear to have a lot of depth at tailback now with Callier returning, maybe Deontae Cooper, and young guys like Taylor, Dezden Petty, Erich Wilson and Dwayne Washington. Spring will be interesting to see who emerges of the younger players and who creates a role for themselves in the offense. That said, it’s not going to be easy for anyone to take a lot of time away from Sankey, given what he did last season.
Q: I find that you are rather unique in that you go out of your way to be a reporter rather than be a sports journalist who love to opine about everything. My question/comment is that it would be nice to hear your ‘real’ opinion every once in a while. The reason why I am saying this is because everything we hear from Coach Sark (Steve Sarkisian) come spring/summer camp is how wonderful everything/everybody is. Come game day, our perception of where the team is so different from where the team truly is. Basically the team isn’t quite as ready as we are led to believe reading this blog. I think you need to bridge that gap by telling us what Coach Sark is not saying. What you are seeing on the field. I realize some things will never change with you, like calling out individual players. I understand they are kids and you are respectful of that and always give them the benefit of the doubt. However, I do want to hear more ‘critical’ opinion from you…and I say that from a footballing perspective only of course.
A: Thanks for the note and the thoughts. I would point out again that one reason I try to stick to reporting is that that is what my specific job description is at the Times. As it says on every story I write, my title is “Seattle Times staff reporter.” We have others who are columnists, such as Jerry Brewer and Steve Kelley, before he retired last month, whose specific job is to write regular opinion/commentary type pieces.
When I initially began doing blogs in 2005 (the UW men’s basketball blog was the first full-time sports blog at the Times beginning in the 2005-06 season) it was decided we would use the blog primarily as a device for creating a community for readers to gather as well as publishing information that we did not have room for in the printed edition of the paper. Obviously, lots has changed since then and we have now added things such as live chats and video, etc. But I have largely tried to stick to the initial mission statement of what we wanted to do with the blog.
As you state, there is no shortage of opinion out there on the internet. What I think is most valuable about this blog is its ability to deliver information that may not be as readily available elsewhere. But we do re-evaluate every year what we do with the blogs, so maybe that will change with time. Still, my/our preference is to keep this largely to a place where I/we deliver information — while also trying to put it in a proper context — and let everyone else opine. That said, I do give game picks every week, I do give a pre-season prediction every year of how I think the Huskies will finish. etc. — I picked them to win seven games each of the last two seasons, for instance, and detailed why. It’s not as if I haven’t given thoughts on how I think things will go for the Huskies. Also, college football is not like, say, Major League Baseball, where there is a clearly defined result every day on which to base an opinion. But we constantly evaluate what we do in this space, and I will keep your thoughts in mind going forward.