Even with the nation’s most difficult schedule, the ’07 season has to be considered a major failure. After opening the season with two victories and hanging with Ohio St. for a half, it looked like UW had finally turned the corner and would begin the march to consistent top 3 (or at least upper half) Pac-10 finishes…
But then the wheels fell off the Mazda RX-7 with six straight losses including the defense allowing a school-record 465 rushing yards one week and a school-record 510 passing yards the next…which is equivalent to your mother boning your best friend one weekend and shooting your dog the next.
The six-game losing streak is becoming all the rage around Montlake as ’07 marked the fourth season in a row that this dubious accomplishment has been achieved. The last three of those seasons have been under the “guidance” of Tyrone Willingham who somehow kept his job despite a career 11-25 win/loss record with the Huskies. Willingham has led Washington to 10th, 9th, and 10th place finishes in the Pac-10 and strapped firmly to the chopping block heading into the ’08 season. UW paid Ty $367,500 per win last year which is one of many reasons why a number of college football pundits believe Ty could be the first head coach to be axed next year.
Yea Tyrone, we’re pissed off too. But trying to win games with terrible gameday coaching, blind loyalty to inept assistants, and sideline Taebo isn’t helping.
Willingham’s greatest success at Washington has been polarizing the fan base – so much so that many fans didn’t know if a win against Hawaii in the final game of the season would have helped or hurt the program. Watching that game was the most disheartened I’ve ever felt as a Husky fan. Many expected a loss to Hawaii would lead to Ty being fired and an exciting new coach being brought in – potentially ex-Atlanta Falcons head coach and current Seahawks assistant, Jim Mora Jr. While I could never root for the Huskies to lose, dropping that game to Hawaii and putting in a new coaching staff with a much greater chance for future success was akin to chopping off the pinky to save the arm. But instead, the arm was chopped off and used to beat the face as UW got up 28-7, let Hawaii score the final 28 points, and Willingham kept his job. Harrumph.
At least Ty finally cut the cord to his most woefully pathetic assistant. Defensive Coordinator/Incompetence Record-Breaker Kent Baer was canned after finishing the season leading a defense that allowed 446.4 yards per game – the worst ever in the history of Husky Football.
Many fans were asking for Baer’s head after the debacle against Hawaii where Colt Brennan torched the Husky defense for 442 yards and 5 TDs. So was I. Literally. I thought we should go the Vlad the Impaler route and jam his head on a spear in front of Husky Stadium to serve as a warning to all future defensive coordinators who may have the audacity to rewrite every defensive record for ineptitude. But I’m told simply firing him was “less barbaric”. Whatever. This is cutthroat college football and I take that cutthroat part very seriously (hide your kitchen knives, Tyrone).
Baer’s neck resigned after the loss to Oregon, stating it had no interest “being connected to this disgrace of a failed defensive coordinator.” And yes, his neck can talk.
Baer has been replaced by former Packers and Falcons defensive coordinator, Ed Donatell. It’s an exciting hire as Donatell had success with both NFL teams and was a finalist for an NFL head coaching job (with the Cleveland Browns who ultimately hired Romeo Crennel) as recently as 2005.
So hopefully Donatell can improve the defense enough to keep the team in more games next season….or at least keep the opposing team’s offensive stats from looking like a goddamn video game (Brennan: 42/50 442 yards, 5 TDs and no INTs…are you fucking serious? The defenses in the Lingerie Bowl could have yielded those numbers.)