Does College Football Stop The Clock On First And Ten Get Excited – It’s Only 11 Weeks Until Kickoff of the 2008 NCAA College Football Season

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Get Excited – It’s Only 11 Weeks Until Kickoff of the 2008 NCAA College Football Season

The start of the 2008 NCAA college football season is just 11 weeks away. The best part about this week is that it’s only 11 Saturdays until the Washington Huskies travel south to face the Oregon Ducks in their opener. Huskies coach Ty Willingham better prepare his players to win.

It’s a foregone conclusion that Willingham must lead Washington to a winning season and bowl a show or his time as Husky coach will be over.

Since Willingham started his first season in Seattle, Huskies fans and boosters have been impressed with his poor record. In 2005, Washington was 2-9 and last in the Pac 10 Conference. In 2006, Washington was 5-7 and last in the Pac 10. In 2007, Washington was 4-9 and last in the Pac 10. You get the picture.

An 11-25 record and zero bowl appearances have left Huskies fans enthralled, troubled and confused. Going 153-57-2 (72%), with a 10-4 bowl game record and 22 straight games from 1990 to 1992 during Don James’ 18-year career, Willingham’s mark looks really lame.

The Washington Huskies have a proud football tradition that has fallen on hard times under Willingham. Prior to Willingham, the Huskies won 15 Pac-10 Conference Championships, 7 Rose Bowl titles and 2 NCAA National Championships. No wonder Huskies fans were slamming their helmets and taking memorabilia off the rec room walls.

Washington has not had a winning season since 2002 (the last season under Rick Neuheisel) and has had 4 consecutive losing seasons for the first time in Huskies football history. Alas! Time to stop screwing around and get with it.

Willingham was given marching orders to get better coaches around him and responded by hiring Ed Donatell as the new defensive coordinator and Brian White as the new tight ends/special teams coach.

Donatell is a veteran NFL defensive coordinator with both the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons. Donatel is a no-nonsense guy who can leave players behind him if necessary.

White really made his mark at Wisconsin as a running backs coach and offensive coordinator, helping the Badgers to 9 bowl appearances in 1999 and 2000, including a Rose Bowl selection. He mentored 1999 Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne, 2001 NFL first-round pick Michael Bennett, and 2001 Big 10 Freshman of the Year Anthony Davis.

There may be better, braver, more loyal losing coaches than Ty Willingham in America, but God only knows where they might be.

Willingham’s main claim to fame in Washington was keeping the program clean (no NCAA recruiting violations or other indiscretions), recruiting some promising players to join freshman sensation Jake Locker, integrity, academic standards for players, and being a good sportsman and president. American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees.

Winning football games, on the other hand (after all, the only reason he remains the Huskies’ head coach), proved very elusive for Willingham.

So far, Willingham and his Huskies have reminded me of what Lou Holtz used to say on a good Saturday—”When all is said and done, more is said than done.” Lou Holtz had a way of giving chase.

For Willingham, the future is clear: Have a winning season in 2008 and go to a bowl game, or leave.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

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