Imagine how good that win would have felt on Saturday if we were a good team who had just thoroughly beaten a decent opponent, instead of being a mediocre team who crushed the patsiest of FBS teams. I watched the game but I didn't really pay attention - like Idaho State it really was meaningless. The only difference is that this was a conference foe so we actually had a reason to be playing them. I just find it so hard to get excited about scrimmages in the off-season. Fortunately after back to back bye weeks UW prepares to square off against UCLA. You know that it's always special to play in the Rose Bowl so I am SUPER EXCITED FOR THIS GAME!!!!!
I would like to remind everyone that three days after we lose to UCLA is November 19th - the messiah's birthday, or Pie Day as it is called Half-brainism. This will mark the 52nd year since the coming of our Coach and savior Jim L. Mora. I would like to take this time to reflect on what UCLA has done under The Coach and compare that to Washington's achievements in the same period.
Mora year 1+2:
16-7 record, Pac-12 South Champions/PAc-12 South Champion contender
Sark year 4+5:
13-9 record, 4th in the Pac-12 North/Eliminated from Pac-12 North Championship contention
Mora year 1 recruiting:
7 OL (6-4*, 1-3*)
1 Myles Jack
#3 class in the country
Sark year 4 recruiting:
3 OL (2-3*, 1-2*)
0 Myles Jacks
#13 class in the country
Fortunately Mora is showing more tact this year in setting up a run back to Seattle (c/p from Fremont):
"Jonathan Gold @TheCoolSub 17m
Jim Mora on Washington job: "I've never been approached by U. of Washington. Never."
Jonathan Gold @TheCoolSub 19m
Jim Mora on Washington job: "That might be the one do-over in my life. I was joking. I wasn't in any way, shape or form serious."
Jonathan Gold @TheCoolSub 20m
Jim Mora on Washington job: "That was a joke that cost me a job. It was never a consideration. Was trying to play compliment to alma mater."
Translation: make me a REAL offer, ya bish."
Mora also said, "I think they’ve got the right guy in Steve Sarkisian.” Of course he does - Sark has acquired decent talent other than at the lines but can't win - setting up a scenario where Adrian Klemm can haul in some good OL classes and UW can really take off under Sark's guidance. Mora wished Willingham well at UW as well. He has to say that crap.
My biggest thing for Mora at this point is that I would like to hire him just so I can be right. He is clearly better than Sark although I am becoming skeptical he is THE best possible hire we could make. DeRuyter is looking really good. I would just love to be right and win national championships under Mora. It would be my own personal little fairy tale.
Right now UW is ranked 10th by Jeff Sagarin - ratings I actually put a lot of stock in. So... what, how, why? On one level you have to realize this is partially a house of cards - I don't know how Sagarin seeds things at the beginning of the season but there is some possible variability in a numeric inversion where there is not an objective standard. By saying Wisconsin is good, that makes ASU's SOS better which makes our loss look less bad. Again, the Sagarin ratings are quite robust and this criticism is quite minor in a practical sense. So how 10? Well all of our losses are against ASU, Oregon, and Stanford. Oregon and Stanford are two good teams and we did play Stanford close, which helps offset the ASU plungering. We did beat Arizona who comes in at 24th overall. Basically, if you actually take Arizona as a good team (and maybe they are better and we were just lucky to break in their quarterback) then that is the one in anyway meaningful game - our schedule was front loaded with very good and bad teams. Our losses were to great teams which doesn't hurt too badly and the rest of our games were winnable. When we lose to #14 UCLA, #34 Oregon State, and #45 Washington State we will plummet in the standings. I wish I could be dooging it up right now - I'd probably happily take this ranking at face value and try and justify the ranking to myself if I hadn't watched all of our bad play this year. If I thought we could finish the season #10 I'd be much more excited. If we didn't keep getting plungered I'd be able to turn a blind eye to some things.
And it is things like the number of 17+ point losses, the number of losing streaks, etc that need to be compiled into Ty Stats 2: Sark Attack. We need to compile a list of all the things that are wrong with Sark - the huge laundry list of mind-blowing failures that when viewed in their totality can make fence-sitting doogs see the light. It is time to start that thread.
I think we're seeing the limitations of following the Oregon Trail. Oregon's loss to Stanford in consecutive years shows that high quality conventional football can beat the spread. You just need linemen who can win the battle in the trenches (one of the best football cliches if I do say). The problem is Oregon is the best at what they do and this seems to be it's pinnacle. We are emulating their path but we are doing it at a lesser level. This is a way to succeed with various talent gaps but it can't take you all the way. It is like Texas Tech some number of years ago. This scheme will allow us to win some - but it will never make us the best.
Evens & Ends:
Marriota follows in Dennis Dixon's footsteps as another Oregon QB in Heisman contention who gets injured and is out of the race. Lets assume that the Stanford loss was due to Marriota being hurt - that would be another NCG appearance lost due to an injured QB. Fresno state is up to rank 14 - BCS bowl eligible. If something causes Tim DeRuyter's Bulldogs to drop then Rod Carey's (formerly Jerry Kill's) Northern Illinois Huskies are waiting in the wings at #15. While none of us here approve of emulating ASJ and driving drunk, I think we can all commiserate with the Michigan who was pulled over for a DUI and blamed the Michigan loss to MSU, particularly Al Borge's bad play-calling.