Tag Archives: Washington Huskies

Lemons to Lemonade

My alma mater, the University of Washington Huskies, got left out of the Big Dance. Even though they won the Pac-12 regular season title, a couple of bad end-of-the-season losses, kept them out of the March Madness NCAA tournament. They ended up being a #1 seed in the national Invitational Tournament (NIT).

These are 20 year olds. They were discouraged and upset about not being selected to the NCAA tournament after winning their conference. The NIT, though prestigious in history, was of little consolation. It would have been very easy to walk out on the court in the first game with a bad attitude and leftover baggage. That would almost certainly lead to an even more embarrassing loss and a terrible off-season.

On Tuesday, the Huskies defeated their arch nemesis Oregon to advance to the NIT Final Four in Madison Square Garden in New York. They won three games to earn that distinction. Now they will play on national television in the Big Apple. No matter what happens, this has been a success. They turned lemons into lemonade.

Give credit to the coaches for excellent leadership. Give credit to the players for staying tough. And give credit to the fans for sticking behind them. It was a team effort.

Hey…winning the NIT in New York would be really cool for these kids and the University. Let’s support them. Go Dawgs!

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Huskies Should Be Dancing…Barely!

The Pac-12 championship win by Colorado should actually bode well for the Washington Huskies. Colorado earned its way into the March Madness tournament with a close win over Arizona. The popular thinking is that a maximum of two teams from the weak Pac-12 conference make it in. Here is my case for the Dawgs…

  • They are the Pac-12 regular season champs. Bad conference or not, over the course of the season, they won it outright.
  • Cal didn’t make it to the championship game of the tourney, either. Everyone said they were a lock, but an embarrassing loss to Colorado may have changed that.
  • Arizona, who lost in the championship game, was beaten twice by Washington head to head. If that doesn’t mean anything when looking at tie-breakers, then something is wrong.
  • Nobody else has a claim.

I actually think you will see both Washington and Cal sneak in. They may both have to play on the first weekend (or play in games). Who cares, though? It’s about getting in. That being said, there is cause to be a little nervous until your name pops up today. Stay tuned!

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Class of 2012 – Wait and See

The Huskies class looks pretty good. Now. The real test will come over the next 2-3 years. It’s funny to look back over the recruiting classes and see how guys actually turned out to be stars. Of course, it’s all across the board.

I’m pleased with how my home team and alma mater did. Landing Shaq Thompson, Jeff Lindquist and a few of the other guys whose names I can’t quite remember now sets them up for a bright future. In the end, however, it will all come down to execution on the field. That comes from coaching, talent, and a bit of serendipity.

The crazy thing is how many kids flipped back and forth in just the past few days. Maybe reform is needed for the process, but I don’t see it happening. As Steve Sarkisian said today at his press conference, it boils down to finishing strong. Let’s hope that the Dawgs finished strong with the right guys!

Thriller in LA – Dawgs Go Dancing Thanks to IT

The Washington Huskies thrilling victory over the Arizona Wildcats was one for the ages. The defending of their Pac-10 tournament championship sent the Dawgs back into the NCAA Big Dance as a #7 seed against Georgia. Who knows what that seed would have been if they had lost?

A couple of notes on the game…

1. I’ve been watching the Huskies basketball program since the mid-1970’s and the James Edwards era. Isaiah Thomas’s performance was the greatest individual effort I’ve ever seen. He played all 45 minutes (in fact he played every minute of the tourney thanks to Venoy Overton’s suspension); he scored 18 points in the first half when Matthew Bryan-Amening was blanked; he made the kept the team in the game down the stretch, including the assist to send the game into overtime; and then he sealed the deal with a fade-away jumper to win the game as time ran out. A ridiculous game…

2. The two freshmen – C.J. Wilcox and Terrance Ross – came up huge in the tournament and down the stretch in this game. They each hit 3-pointers like veterans to get the Dawgs into OT. The future is bright for this program.

3. Lorenzo Romar is a gamer coach. In other words, he makes all the right moves at the key times for this team. That comes in very handy come tournament time.

4. This team can get by Georgia, but the disappointing play down the stretch puts them in a situation that if they do advance, they will have to beat North Carolina, the #2 seed, to get back to the Sweet 16. Hey, but this is March Madness, right?

Bottom line – that was gigantic win for the good guys. It showed tremendous heart and character by players and coaches as all things looked dark and ominous after the Venoy Overton calamity. That shows great leadership both in coaching (Romar) and players (Thomas). This was the kind of win that a team can build momentum from. Who knows, maybe the best is yet to come…

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Seahawks Prediction

12th Man

Okay…

Call me crazy. Call me a “homer.” Call me whatever you want. I have a funny feeling about this one.

Just like in the Holiday Bowl with the Washington Huskies, Pete Carroll and his boys are playing with house money. I feel a little 12th Man magic. It’s Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson; the New York Giants over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl; it’s Washington over Nebraska…

It’s the Seahawks 24-23 over the Saints with an Olindo Mare FG at the end….

You heard it here first.

Watch for my Tweets during the game.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Rallying the Troops

Steve Sarkisian showed yesterday why college football is different than pro football. In a similar situation, with 4th and 1 for the season, 2 seconds left in the game, and down by 3 points, the pro coach kicks the tying field goal to go into overtime. There’s little flexibility with jobs in the NFL. In college, it’s different. Sark rolled the dice, trusted in his offensive line, QB, and RB, and won what might turn into a landmark game for the revitalized Washington Huskies.

The Husky win means next week’s Apple Cup game against WSU means more than just state prode. It means a chance to go back to a bowl game for the first time in 8 years. This proud program is starving for it.

My favorite part of “The Call” was Sarkisian rallying the troops on the sideline together. Everyone, the offense, the defense, the special teams, and the last guy on the traveling squad, bought into and was behind the call an the play. That’s leadership.

This will be a fun week leading up to what could be a tremendous Apple Cup. Don’t get me wrong; I’d be happy with Washington blowing the Cougars out early. I just don’t think that’s going to happen. I see a close game in hostile territory for all the marbles of post-season. Should be fun.

P.S. How about that Husky defense led by Mason Foster. Nick Holt’s group has been widely criticized all year. However, when they have been most need in the past two games, they’ve only surrendered one touchdown and that was 7 quarters ago! They will need a similar effort next week.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Giants, Cowboys, and Rangers Oh My!

I apologize for being so long without posting. Life often gets in the way of blogging, so I hope to improve.

A belated observation…

Last spring, if you would have told me that the cities of Dallas and San Francisco would be embroiled in a sports championship series, I would have bought that. The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49’ers were both pegged to be contenders for the Super Bowl, and could likely face each other in an NFC Championship game.

As it turns out, the San Francisco Giants and the Texas (Dallas-based) Rangers  squared off in the World Series. The eventual champion Giants weren’t thought to be a playoff team, and although the Rangers were, they had never been to a World Series and their pitching was suspect. Turns out the Niners and Pokes were suspect.

The Giants won their first World Series since transplanting to the West Coast and the 49’ers are 2-6 after losing their first 5 games. The Rangers made their first World Series in franchise history and the Cowboys are in shambles with only one win and the loss of their QB.

Sports is strange. The Huskies and Seahawks lost by a combined score of 74-3 over the weekend, which was tough here in Seattle. It still beats being a Cowboys or 49’ers fan, though…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Positive Takeaways from a Bad Weekend

I know there are more onions than orchids to throw around this weekend, but here are a few of the bright spots…

  • We can relax about worrying about Jake Locker’s run for the Heisman Trophy. It ain’t gonna happen. It’s unlikely he will play another team the caliber of Nebraska and this game will dog him for the year when it comes to the Heisman. Maybe he can just relax and play.
  • Pac-10 play starts next week and we are undefeated…
  • Golden Tate is a home run hitter for the Hawks. We need to get the ball in his hands early and often.
  • In fact, our receivers played well in Denver. Nate Burleson had one catch for 4 yards and Housh was shut out for the Ravens. I will take Deion Butler, Deion Branch, Golden Tate, Ben Obamanu (TD  reception) and Mike Williams over them at this point.
  • The Hawks at least fought until the end. Last year, they wilted. This year, they just didn’t execute well. If you turn the ball over on the road against a team that hasn’t lost a home opener in over 10 years, you will lose the game.
  • Matt Hasselbeck is still healthy after two games (last year injured in Game 2).
  • The win against the 49ers made this game not as important as it was for Denver. Being 0-1 and facing a brutal schedule the next 4 weeks, this was a “must-win” for them. The Seahawks have a tough opponent at home next week (a game they can win), and ext “must-win” for them comes at St. Louis in 2 weeks.

Follow me on Twitter on Sundays for my opinions and commentary during the Seahawks games…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Monday Morning QB

Heroes from the Weekend…

Coach Pete Carroll – OK…I’m IN big time. I read your book, Win Forever and was impressed. Now I’m even more impressed. I know there will be poor games and challenging times. However, this team did not quit like it has the past two years. That’s in part due to your leadership. Welcome back to the NFL.

Matt Hasselbeck – I keep telling people if we surround you with talent at WR and RB, and give you time to throw, you’re still an upper-level QB in this league. Who knew you could still run? Tremendous leadership and the same passion that has made you the best QB in franchise history.

Jordan Babineaux – After the ignominy of being cut and re-signed for less money, you come back and make a pick and several special teams tackles. Seemed like you were all over the field. Welcome back to the team.

Seahawks O and D Lines – Kudos. Both were glaring weaknesses last year. At least in this game, you kept #8 on his feet, held Frank Gore to 38 yards, and pestered Alex Smith all game long. If you can keep this play up all year, we will be looking at more wins than we thought!

I missed the Huskies game…I had a charitable event to attend. Here are my two heroes from reports…

Jake Locker – Nice bounce back game, dude. You showed why you are a pre-season Heisman- watch guy.

Jermaine Kearse – You’re showing that last year was no fluke. You may be the best WR in the Pac-10 and before you’re done the nation may be watching. Tremendous effort!

I hope every Monday will have these rave reviews. I’m not naive…I know there will be losses. I just hope there are more goods than bads as we continue the Monday Morning QB!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Hawks and Huskies and a Little Storm

While the V-Mac in Renton resembles a Chinese fire drill, Montake won’t be pulling the emergency fire alarm.

The Seahawks continue to mold their 53-man roster, definitely proving that they are in a rebuilding frame of mind. Julius Jones must feel like the famous Mark Twain quote about the “reports of his death being greatly exaggerated,” as the reports of his dismissal from the team being erroneous. What isn’t wrong is that he’s not the main man at running back anymore as that title goes to Justin Forsett. He isn’t even the #2 guy undoubtedly, but he still has a place on the squad. #6 pick Russell Okung won’t be playing on Sunday as he is still injured. Matt Hasselbeck better have his rear view mirror working as his blindside may be in danger. The most interesting pickup for me this weekend was 337-pound offensive guard Stacy Andrews. This guy could be a real help on what has been a light offensive line that is being turned into a larger one. Andrews may be the best acquisition of the several new faces.

The Huskies didn’t snap their nearly 2 year losing streak on the road and sounded (no TV…really?) like they played an awful 2nd half. But, not to jump to conclusions. BYU is a very solid team, especially at home. This was no gimmie, in fact they were 3-point underdogs going in. This week at home against Syracuse is a different story. This is a “must-win” for a team looking to get to a bowl game again. They must hold serve at home, particularly against oponents that they are supposed to be better than. I expect a different game and a different outcome.

Shame on me for having not blogged on the Seattle Storm most of the year. As a former high school girls basketball coach, that is inexcusable. The Storm have been the best team in the league and proved it over again in the playoffs, as they reach their second WNBA Finals. Yes, I know they don’t get quite the respect they should in this town because the sport is not considered in the same breath as the NFL, NBA, and MLB. The reality is that they brought this city a professional championship a few years ago, there coach is perhaps the best in the league, and they have three of the top players in the league in Lauren Jackson, Sue Bird, and Swin Cash. As they head into the finals, I will be spending more time covering them and their quest to win their second title. Heck, I may even need to find a ticket to the Finals. That may be our only opportunity for a few years!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved