Odds and ends: Dobie and LSU
Malamute, 6 August 2009
Gil Dobie (1908-1916, 58-0-3)
didn't want to play WSU anywhere but in Seattle. When WSU balked after
doing so for four straight seasons, the series took a two-year break in
1915 and 1916. It's a shame Gil Dobie, photo below, didn't clean William
"Lone Star" Dietz's clock back in 1915 and end his quest for the Rose
Bowl. Instead, Washington State beat Brown in the 1916 Rose Bowl and
laid claim to the mythical national championship -- a sad happening,
During his stay at Washington, Dobie
posted 42 shutout wins, holding his opponents to an average of 1.9
points per game. His players went full bore the entire game and refused
to let up on anyone. Apparently, Dobie built up some enmities over time.
“…he was loathed by opponents, who by 1911 resented the fact that Dobie
was the one to dictate who played whom and on what days,” one historian
wrote. “His thunderous victories were even felt and resented years
later,” this writer continues.
Reportedly, the northwest schools
dropped Washington from their schedules in 1915, “in an attempt to derail
Dobie had to scramble for opponents in
1915. In that season he played California twice, whipping the Bears 72-0
in an away game. The next week at Denny Field, Cal played smash-mouth defensive football
against UW, holding Washington to just eight positive gains the entire
game, yet succumbed to the Purple and Gold 13-7. Washington fans carried
Cal's Roy Sharpe off the field on their shoulders for his superlative
defensive and offensive effort.
As a result of the
disastrous 72-0 loss to Washington, Cal's 14th coach, James Schaeffer, was fired.
He'd coached rugby at California from 1909-14 and then football in 1915.
In 1921, Enoch “Baggie” Bagshaw paid the
piper for Dobie’s unrelenting effort at Berkeley, surrendering the same
number of points Dobie had piled up on California -- Cal bagging Bagshaw
with a 72-3 pasting -- in what was called a revenge game.
Dobie suddenly resigned after the 1915
season, but reversed his decision and coached the 1916 season.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
editorialized, "Tune up the sackbut, psaltery, harp and lute, and
anything else that will make a noise, and let us sound a paean of joy
over the return of the mentor whom we had mourned as officially dead."
The UW won the PCC championship in
1916; however, Oregon went to the 1917 Rose Bowl because of traveling
Washington State, back on the UW
schedule in 1917, scored a 14-0 victory over Claude J. Hunt, who had
replaced Dobie as head coach. The game was played in Seattle.
One LSU fan wrote me,
“Richard, I read your
article on the
UW-LSU game in a little over a month. I agree with you that LSU does
schedule cream puffs for the most part, but what you fail to mention how
tough the SEC is. How many SEC teams have won the national title since
’03? Four. LSU is trying to do a home and away with North Carolina. The
last top ten team that scheduled LSU in their regular season schedule
was Virginia Tech I believe was ranked #9 at the time of the game and
LSU won 48-7. The problem LSU has is no one wants a home and away with
“One last thing, your comment about
the mythical national championship is hilarious. The school has 2
crystal balls in 6 years.
"I will be at the game Sept 5 and I
really hope UW plays LSU with some heart, but I doubt it. If you go, you
will see the passion and enthusiasm LSU fans bring to away games.”
I replied as follows:
The BCS poll is affected mostly by
east-coast bias. The human voting is skewed somewhat and the computers
are a joke. USC was shafted last year by the “mafia.” Obviously, college
football needs a playoff system if it is to determine a “real” champion
instead of a “mythical” one. I’m fine with the term “BCS Champion,” but,
in my mind, just don’t call the BCS champion a National Champion, which
is modern-day alchemy. (*)
LSU does a great job of recruiting. On
average, your guys will be bigger, faster and stronger than ours, who
will be shorthanded because of two mediocre transitional recruiting
classes (2005, 2009). It will take more than courage for the Huskies to
play with heart and for our fans to support them with enthusiasm the
entire game. What I mean, for example, is that when you run into a
bigger, faster, stronger guy on kickoffs, say – with your feet and heart
erstwhile having pounded in your helmet on the run downfield – you’ll
likely see double for the rest of the game and feel a tad queasy.
Being a Husky means being a real
football fan. Believe me, it’s not easy supporting them, considering our
current situation, i.e., 6 straight non-winning seasons. Some fans
travel great distances to get to the games and, more often than not, as
of late, it has been a long ride home.
Not only must we live with the 0-12
pratfall from last season, we must endure the bias of a local newspaper
is rewriting Husky history (though it hasn't caught up with Dobie yet)
and, when the opportunity occasionally arises, slants its editorial
favor of our cross-state rival.
Reportedly, one of Washington’s former coaches felt the newspaper had an
ongoing vendetta against
Claiming infidelity, our last coach, Tyrone
Willingham, took the local media to divorce court.
The point is when the roof
is caving in, every creaky board in the house of the Huskies sounds like the
afterburners on an F86. Even Husky Stadium is in a sad state or
I’m sure LSU fans in attendance will
whoop it up; their purple and gold will glisten under the lights a tad
more than our colors, which will begin to fade as exhaustion takes its
toll on the Dawgs in the second half. Just don’t rub it in our faces or
gloat too much after the game. Really, it’s poor show. It’s a rigged
game after all, one scheduled to make money for the Huskies, who can’t
afford to schedule patsies to beef up their won/lost record for the
shameful pollsters who participate in all this BCS nonsense. Meanwhile,
I’ll continue to poke fun at this charade, being a disgruntled fan. :)
Best wishes, thanks for your comments,
and good luck in the game,
P. S. Do you think this guy
will buy my sob story? I doubt it. Go get 'em, Huskies. You can do it
come September 5th.
(*) Calling the BCS champion the
National champion is like trying to convert lead into gold using an
alchemic formula instead of installing a playoff formula to brew a
real gold medal.