Imagine Mick Jagger joining the Beatles.  Imagine comedian Adam Carolla becoming a member of The View.  Imagine starting each day by pouring orange juice over your Cheerios.

That’s where I’ll be at mentally come July 1st, as the Nebraska Cornhuskers officially join the Big 10 Conference.

When it comes to college football I’m a traditionalist.  I still haven’t completely adjusted to the fact that the annual winners of the Pac-10 and Big 10 aren’t squaring off in the Rose Bowl every year (since the BCS often throws a monkey wrench into the match ups).

Nebraska football, to me, is Turner Gill and Mike Rozier playing for national championship.  It’s Tom Osborne pacing the sidelines dressed in red.  It’s Tommie Frasier and the dynasty of the mid 1990s, rolling up colossal yardage and multiple national championships.

And as a fan of the Huskies, it’s Washington knocking off the Cornhuskers in 1991, 1992 and in the 2010 Holiday Bowl.

In a sense, Nebraska is synonymous with Oklahoma and Texas.  It’s that Southwestern flavor that stems back to the days of the Big 8.

Now that Nebraska is leaving the Big 12 to join the Big 10, the definition of each conference is forever altered.

Among Cornhusker fans, it seems there’s a split between those in favor and those against.

As the Washington Huskies travel to Lincoln this September, it’ll feel odd to be taking on a team that’s linked arm-in-arm with the likes of Michigan, Ohio State and Purdue.

Cold, Happy Night at Husky Stadium

Prior to kickoff my Dad was as sullen as reserved as I have ever seen him in the waning moments before a game.  When this observation was brought up to him, he merely smiled and shrugged.  It’s been both a difficult season and last few years.

After seeing the team lay down and give up against Arizona and Stanford, followed by the massacre at Oregon, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Dawgs for the final home game of the season.

UCLA’s offense was awful, so that helped.  In the third quarter I turned to papa and said:  “If you put Cougar uniforms on this UCLA team, you would never know the difference.  And maybe they’re worse, because I like Tuel, the WSU quarterback.”

Then Washington created some big turnovers in the fourth quarter and pulled away.  When Neuheisel’s mug flashed upon the jumbo tron, boos rang out from all corners of the stadium.  That was kind of a fun moment.

By the end of the night, two Washington running backs topped 100 yards for the first time in three seasons, and the Huskies pulled away to win it, 24-7.  Dad and I both left the stadium surprised and happy.


As the late Dave Niehaus might say, “My oh my, how things have changed.”

Check out this article from Ted Miller back in November of 2002.


“Seriously, you’re a hater & not atrue DAW. Either get on board or STFU. Take a stand & offer a solution or STFU. We all want the best for DAWG football, but say something positive or “get off the air”. You’re doing NOTHING to help the program.”


My response:

“I offered a solution my friend. I wrote yesterday that Jim L. Mora is sitting right there waiting to lead this team out of the darkness. You are actually part of the problem because you are enabling these people to further destroy the program we love. But no solutions come from you other than name calling at those who won’t toe the company line.



I remember a conversation I had a with a detective several years ago that covered several topics.  One thing he referenced was the habit employed by many burglars of defecating on the carpet or table of the home they had infiltrated.  This repulsive act symbolized a final F-YOU to the homeowner they’d just victimized.

The news tonight that Mark Emmert’s final act as UW president On September 30th was to give his friend Scott Woodward a 5-year guaranteed contract at $550,00 a year stuns me.  The department remains in the red and its cash cow– the football team– continues to flounder.  Why is this performance being rewarded with long-term, guaranteed money?  In a phone interview today with Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times, Emmert said he wanted to bring “stability” to the athletic director’s position.  Since when has that been an issue at Washington?

This extension was only brought to light from a public records request by the Times.  Doesn’t it say a lot that UW never announced this of its own volition?  But nepotism aside, by guaranteeing Woodward’s money, where is the incentive for him to do everything he can to raise funds and extract the football team from the deep ravine of futility into which it continues to sink?

This 11th hour act of Emmert’s was a final “gift” to Husky Nation, in addition to the hirings of Todd Turner, Tyrone Willingham, Scott Woodward and the football team’s 24-65 record under his watch.  With that charming smile and friendly wave, Emmert headed off to assume the NCAA presidency, having quietly left for us one last stinking, repulsive gift to be discovered at a later time.

As another Husky season comes down the stretch, odds are high that a 7th consecutive losing campaign is at hand.  Washington has been outscored 138-30 in the past three games.  But with UCLA, Cal and WSU on the horizon, supporters of Steve Sarkisian anticipate a three game winning streak and subsequent lower tiered bowl game appearance.

Meanwhile in reality, the amazing irony is the Jim L. Mora, the obvious choice back in 2007 to be selected as the replacement to Tyrone Willingham, remains local while busying himself with his TV commentating gig.

But given Mora’s deep love for Husky football, his reputation as a strong defensive mind and his energy and charisma, this man remains the obvious choice to save Husky Football from itself.

It seems 98% certain that Sarkisian will be given a third year in 2011, so another full turn of the calendar is required.  Will Mora wait around that long to see how things sort themselves out at Washington?

You have to wonder, in his heart of hearts, if Mora’s not biding his time and waiting for the opportunity to be head coach at the university that needs his energy and competence more desperately than ever.


Very interesting discussion led by the late Tom Snyder– who was one of the best interviewers I’ve ever heard.  And Hitchcock certainly comes across as not only an insightful guy with an ugly mug, but also exceedingly serene.

Last week I received several emails and texts of people basically saying: “Did you hear what Softy said?  He twice dismissed your blog article as not worth responding to!”  That article pointed out that UW’s inability to raise funds would lead them to move to Qwest, and that Sarkisian should never have been hired as head football coach due to inexperience.  So when the emails and texts regarding Softy rolled in, I just shrugged because I don’t understand why his opinion merits listening to in the first place.

There was a time when Softy’s opinion meant a lot to me.  From 2000-2007, his Husky Honks Show with Dick Baird and Hugh Millen was one of the highlights of my week.  Every Wednesday morning, I scheduled time around it so I could hang onto every word.  I love Husky football and am a fan.

Then came November/December of 2007.  Those were the days when Tyrone Willingham was under fire as coach.  Everyone should have been able to see that he was destroying the program and needed to be let go.  But I can still hear Softy angrily calling out loyal boosters like Bill Fleenor for calling for a coaching change.  And I vividly remember Softy saying that Willingham deserved to be given a fourth year and that real fans should forget the past and unite behind Willingham and the team.

Of course, a mere ten months later, and six games into an inglorious 0-12 season, there was Softy throwing an on-air tantrum about how Willingham was completely destroying the team and that he needed to be fired and removed immediately. So much for getting behind the team and being a true fan.  Now while it’s true that people make mistakes and there’s no crime in doing so, Softy’s complicity in the winless season is profound.  His public support for Willingham fostered the environment that influenced President Emmert’s decision to give Willingham the fourth year.  The winless season that resulted will be a blight upon Husky Football’s landscape for the next 30 years– the flip side of the coin to how the 1991 National Championship team is recalled.

But now let’s look at last week.  When Softy says he “started to hear horror stories 1.5 years into” Willingham’s time at Washington, it begs a question:  Why, Softy, did you support giving Willingham the fourth year if you had been hearing horror stories?

Softy’s decision to shill for the athletic department back then casts doubt on anything he says now.  During this 2010 football season, as some people question the Sarkisian hire, Softy angrily denounces them as being disloyal and stupid.  When people like myself speculate aloud that a move to Qwest is imminent, Softy is dismissive.

To which I say, “That’s fine and so what?  Everyone’s got an opinion.  Why pay heed to UW’s mouthpiece?”