Category Archives: UW

Nothing Happened From March 7th to March 8th

Toronto FC did not piss their pants in front of the largest crowd in franchise history. They did not blow a 2-0 lead against the evil Los Angeles Galaxy and sit on it to the point where they predictably gave up a last minute goal to tap-in expert Landon Donovan. The final score was not 2-2 and away goals in the CONCACAF Champions League knockout stage do not count as double.

Manchester United did not waste everyone’s Thursday by crashing to another European competition defeat at Old Trafford, this time against Athletic Bilbao. There was no clear offside on Bilbao’s 2nd goal and United did not give up 3 goals for the millionth time this season. Like CONCACAF, UEFA does not have an away goals rule in either the Champions League or the Europa League. The next game in Spain won’t be a total slaughter after the mediocre midfield gets torn to shreds again.

Washington Huskies basketball did not just become the first regular season winner of a major conference to plunge themselves straight into the NIT. Oregon State, a weak 18-13 and 0-2 in the regular season vs. Washington, did not go up by 15 at one point in the 2nd half. The Huskies did not go 12-26 from the line, including freshman Tony Wroten Jr. missing four free-throws in a row, when making two at either time in the game would’ve given Washington the lead. Lorenzo Romar did not fail to prepare his team away from home for the umpteenth time in the last few years. Darnell Gant is indeed having a good senior year. Today did not happen and I expect them to be in the semifinals tomorrow.

The night of March 7th and all of March 8th does not exist. It has been wiped from the history books and I’m not hiding sharp objects for the impending doom that is Washington’s inevitable tournament exit (in whatever they’re in), Toronto FC’s defensively-challenged season, or Manchester United’s trophyless season. None of this is true and I will continue to reject reality even as I see it happening right in front of my weary eyes.

I’m so confident today and yesterday didn’t happen, that this post, seemingly written today and in full view of anyone on this blog, has actually been dated March 9th in my official records.

UCLA 75 Washington 69: Go Stanford!

I wasted my time writing Thursday’s article. Washington is now in a position where they need to root for Stanford to beat California tomorrow night in Palo Alto or else they become co-champions of the Pac-12 but the #2 seed in the conference tournament due to Cal’s lone win over U-Dub in Seattle.

Darnell Gant was once again called upon to take the potential winning shot. He finished the game 1-7. This is eerily similar to their loss to Cal when Gant, 0-8 at the time, ended up taking the tying three-pointer and missing. I love Lorenzo Romar as a recruiter and his ability to get even his worst teams to play above expectations, but holy crap he’s just a god awful game manager in crunch time situations. I honestly cannot remember a single game where Washington was losing and won the game on the final possession.

This is a bad loss and it puts Washington back on the bubble. They need to win at least one game in the Pac-12 tournament, especially if Cal gets co-champion spot tomorrow, or else they’re going to the NIT.

So go Stanford! If Washington wants to make it hard for themselves, then they need an immediate bail out plan.

 

Washington Huskies in Prime Position to Win Pac-12 Regular Season Title

I’m going to flat out say that there is no excuse for Washington not clinching at least a share of the Pac-12 regular season championship. Currently they sport a 13-3 conference record to Cal’s 13-4. California plays rivals Stanford on Saturday to close out their regular season,

Freshman phenom Tony Wroten Jr. has led the Washington Huskies to within touching distance of the Pac-12 regular season title.

but they no longer control their own destiny. Washington has USC tonight and UCLA on Saturday morning (11:00 AM tip? Seriously?). The Huskies should absolutely blow out the Trojans, who have won just 7 games all season and are 1-15 in the Pac-12. In their first meeting in Seattle the Huskies comfortably won 69-41 and were never threatened at any point in the game. USC are a total mess and should not pose any sort of threat to Washington even in Southern Cal.

So it realistically comes down to UCLA at Westwood. As you’ve probably heard, Sports Illustrated released an investigative report on the chaotic scenes at the famed basketball powerhouse, including coach Ben Howland’s bizarre behavior, players consuming alcohol and drugs without any punishment, and all sorts of in-fighting and arguing from within the program. Now that their dirty laundry has been aired there’s a pretty good chance the Bruins will be in cover-up mode and not totally set on Saturday’s game. Well, that and the fact that they aren’t very good. A mediocre 9-7 record in conference play and just a 16-13 overall record. What the Bruins do have in their advantage is that they are 6-1 in conference home games, and they nearly beat Washington in Seattle in their previous meeting. Washington has been forced to save their season by winning difficult road games, and they’ve won two straight with the easy USC game likely to make it 3. The UCLA game is a must to win the conference outright, or else they’ll have to hope Stanford manages a home win against California.

As long as Washington has the outright Pac-12 title then they should safely be in the NCAA Tournament. It’s hard for the committee, even for a conference as bad as this one, to deny a major power conference champion a tournament berth. The Huskies have relied on the (then) Pac-10 tournament to nullify the committee looking at their resume for two years running, now they simply need to win out this week and maybe get a conference tourney win for good measure and they’ll see themselves through to the big dance.

It’s been another dramatic 2nd half of the season for Lorenzo Romar’s Huskies basketball team. Things looked pretty bleak after losing all of their games away from home in non-conference and getting blown out by South Dakota State. Now they’re in a position where their RPI has improved (so now their losses to Saint Louis, Marquette, and obviously Duke don’t look so bad) and have a good enough resume to clinch an at-large bid.

Tonight starts Washington’s road to a Pac-12 title, and they’ll have to do it in La La Land.

Gut Check Time For Washington Men’s Basketball

Tonight begins the Washington Huskies’ quest for a Pac-12 conference title. They’ve ridden their luck the last two seasons by winning the conference tournament to ensure a trip into March Madness, but this year I’ve got zero confidence in this Huskies team to make it three in a row. This is the most inconsistent bunch of players Lorenzo Romar has ever coached and it shows. For every impressive showing against Marquette (even in a loss) they get killed by North Dakota State.

Washington has no shot at the NCAA tournament without finishing 1st in the Pac-12 regular season or winning the conference tourney. They have zero wins over top 25 opposition, and are an ugly 4-6 away from home. The team they’re tied with in the conference standings, California, beat them at home 69-66 in a game where Coach Romar saw it fit to draw up an OT-forcing three with Darnell Gant, who was a stellar 0-9 all game long.

With five games left in the regular season, this is Washington’s schedule:

vs. Arizona State (Thu)
vs. Arizona (Sat)
at Washington State (Sat, Feb 25th)
at USC (Thur, March 1st)
at UCLA (Sat, March 3rd)

The Huskies should have no issues sweeping the Arizona schools, so it really comes down to the road games. Washington State is a rivalry game and the Cougars were up by 11 in Seattle before Washington prevailed late in the 2nd half, 75-65. USC is terrible and sports an abysmal 1-13 conference record. Washington hammered them 69-41 two weeks ago and should hammer them again. UCLA gave the Huskies a tight finish exactly two Thursdays ago, but sophomore star Terrence Ross led a great comeback and a thrilling 71-69 victory on national TV.

It’s down to the longtime Huskies nemesis known as the road game. Their four road wins feature three teams with losing conference records (Utah, Oregon State, and Arizona State). Awful. In road/neutral regular season games they’re 13-21 with 0 wins against the top 25. This just goes along with the Seattle tradition of being awful away from their loyal fans.

If you want to be optimistic, with the Huskies on the bubble in 2010, they rattled off three straight road wins to close out the season before winning the Pac-10 tournament and marching towards the Sweet Sixteen. This story is a little bit different. The Huskies don’t have a lot of senior leadership like when Quincy Pondexter was here, and have relied heavily on freshman phenom Tony Wroten Jr. to be their best guard. Washington’s other guard Abdul Gaddy is shooting just 40% from the field and averaging only 8 pts per game whilst nearly doubling his turnover rate from 1.2 to 2.1.

This is the biggest five game stretch for Washington this season. There is no turning back and finding happier endings to their losses against Marquette, California, and Nevada. Not winning the regular season or tournament title eliminates Washington from any March Madness talk, and their resume is bad enough that there’s a significant chance they may not even be a lock for the NIT. At least not a lock for one of the higher seeds. It’s now or never, and I’d prefer to win now.

In a Shocker, Nick Holt Has Been Fired

PICTURED: Deer in headlights.

After the most embarrassing defensive performance I’ve ever seen in tackle football, my prediction/wish of Nick Holt’s firing has come true. Today it was made official that the Washington Huskies would not retain the alleged defensive coordinator.

U-Dub’s official AD writer Gregg Bell made this comment on Twitter:

I want to thank Nick Holt, Mike Cox and Jeff Mills for their hard work and dedication throughout the last 3 years. I wish them all the best. … They have left our program in a better place.

Mike Cox and Jeff Mills are the linebacker and safeties coach respectively. In short, Steve Sarkisian fired nearly the entire defensive staff.  Fantastic move by a coach who was faced with the tough decision of getting rid of his friend and someone he has coached with since the USC era.

Holt was in over his head and a complete disaster as a playcaller. He literally spent the entire 2nd half against Baylor calling 3 and 4 man rushes and having his DBs playing so far deep in coverage that they were in Oklahoma. Shockingly, all Robert Griffin III needed to do is dump passes off on screen passes and quick outs for easy first downs. The rest was just Baylor’s running attack rushing for nearly 7.5 miles, including a play where RGIII literally was surrounded by three Huskies players, who all proceeded to play two-hand touch.

Good riddance to Holt and his assistants. If he stayed for another season it’d be a damning statement on Sarkisian as a coach and a surefire way to go 7-6 for a third straight year.  For the Huskies to improve as a football team they had to get Holt off the staff. Too many terrible games and horrendous fundamentals on a weekly basis. A replacement is something to worry about later but it’s hard to think it can get much worse than Nick’s three years at Montlake.

Rejoice, Huskies fans! Washington football has put a halt to Holt once and for all.

 

Baylor 67 Washington 56 – The Game Where Nick Holt Gets Fired

That is not a basketball score, that is a college football game played within 60 minutes. You know what? I’m not even going to write about the defense today. Washington’s offense is fantastic and can only get better. Keith Price, Chris Polk (or Jesse Callier depending on Polk’s draft decision), Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kasen Williams, and Devin Aguilar are all players who can make this offense one of the best in the country and at least top 4 in the Pac-12. Tonight’s game was so entertaining and Washington will be so fun to watch for years to come under Steve Sarkisian. I applaud Price and his amazing QB performance, he arguably outplayed the Heisman Trophy winner in Robert Griffin III. He is going to go down as one of the best players in Washington history.

NOW…..

Instead of focusing on the near 800 yards of offense the Huskies gave up, I’m going to share with you a partial list of actual search terms that have led to people coming to this website just from today:

fire nick holt 25
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why is washington’s defense so bad? 4
nick holt sucks 4
nick holt needs to be fired 2
yves edwards vs josh thompson fight video 2
matthew stafford snub 2
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nick holt should be fired 2
pam ward espn 2
espn sideline reporters suck 2
nick holt needs to go 2
nick holt alamo bowl 2
nick holt rumors 2
nick holt awful 2
spike tv is stupid 1
washington defense sucks 1
nick holt alamo 1

Good night. I have nothing else to say.

Alamo Bowl – The Game Where Nick Holt Gets Fired

I can proudly say that I have not watched a single college bowl game this season. There are way too many games that are complete junk and I really cannot find reasons to care about Cal vs. Texas. I do have a reason to watch the Alamo Bowl between Washington and Baylor, though. Heisman winner Robert Griffin III is playing, and Washington’s defense will unfortunately have to be on the field. I’m excited to see the Huskies’ functioning offense in action against Baylor, but I’m dreading anything that useless defense does.

Nick Holt should not have a job with Washington after tonight. There’s almost no way he can pull off a 2nd miracle and have his defense suddenly show up for a bowl game. There are not many worse defensive coordinators in football than Holt. Look at these sterling statistics in his three years here:

Passing Defense Ranking (119 D-I FBS Teams)

2009 – 89th

2010 – 37th

2011 – 116th

Rushing Defense Ranking (Yards-Per-Game)

2009 – 65th

2010 – 103rd

2011 –  52nd

Scoring Defense Ranking (Points Allowed Per Game)

2009 – 71st

2010 – 93rd

2011 – 99th

Piss-poor numbers. Washington basically gets gashed one way or the other. Holt’s ceiling is middle-of-the-road, and that’s not good. You could look at Washington’s 2011 rush defense and think it’s not that bad, but when you’re almost at the very bottom of Division I FBS in pass defense why would ANY team try to run it? This is the same team that gave up over 400 yards to Bo Levi Mitchell of Eastern Washington, an FCS school. Washington has been blown out in every single defeat, including a 38-21 pounding in Corvallis against an Oregon State team that had one of the worst offenses in the Pac-12 and a 2-8 record at the time of the game.

I’m really not interested in the argument that Washington’s defense doesn’t have the talent to succeed, or that Willingham’s ineptitude is why the defense still sucks. Well if that’s the case, why did the Huskies offense instantly become better under Steve Sarkisian? Jake Locker turned into a top 10 draft pick under two years of Sark and now they average 31 points per game under Keith Price. There has been no improvement under Nick Holt’s tenure and there’s no sign of hope. Scoring defense has gone down each season and the 2011 passing defense is actually ranked worse than the 0-12 Huskies of 2008.

For Washington to become a legitimate Pac-12 contender, they need a defense worth a damn. Nick Holt is clearly not the guy and Steve Sarkisian would be actively damaging his own team by keeping him employed past the 2011-12 season. Three years is long enough to pass judgment on his coaching style, and frankly it’s awful.

Fire Nick Holt!

 

Prediction: Baylor 55 Washington 30