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New Year’s resolutions, 2008
Malamute, 1 January 2008

Over the years, as part of my New Year’s resolutions, I’ve given up caffeinated coffee, imbibing, and smoking. Still, I need to shed a few pounds next year and improve my golf game. I want to come in at 190 pounds (currently 195) and card a hole in one (never having done that before) before the end of the year.

While thinking of my own New Year’s resolutions, I came up with some resolutions for Huskies football to keep in 2K8.

These include resolutions to keep for the UW registrar, the stadium renovation committee, Tyrone, the offensive line, the statistics themselves and Montlake Jake.

The statistics, you might ask? I’ve whittled the whole lot of them down to just two stats. You won’t believe the elegance of it all, as in a unified theory that models the fourth dimension (time) before the big bang. (Note: Promising to improve "scoring margin" is too simplistic and elegant to be acceptable as a resolution).

1.   Accept P. E. majors from junior colleges: Duh! The registrar at UW needs to change its academic requirements so that athletes with Physical Education degrees from junior colleges can be enrolled. A number of Pac-10 schools accept athletes with P. E. credentials.

Prediction: If those requirements are changed, Ty Willingham will bring in a 5-star nose tackle out of a JC for his 2009 recruiting class that will change the laws of inertia at Montlake – as in it will take two offensive linemen to block him.

2.   Include the track in the initial refurbishment plans. Stupid is as stupid does. I would like to see the initial plans for renovating Husky Stadium changed to include a milestone for moving the track to another locale. The notion of keeping that antediluvian track in the first go-around of the stadium remodel has been a keen disappointment to me. How do we know if the track will ever go if it’s not in the first wave of demolition?

Prediction: If the renovation plans include a milestone for removing the track, I will donate some money to the renovation project. Otherwise, I am moving my virtual baggage to Qwest Field, part and parcel, and investing my money in Nike stock. 

3.   Improve two statistics: The elegance of it all -- the Kiss theory at work! Although there are a number of statistical measures from last season that need improvement, it would seem that by narrowing our focus to just two of them is all the Huskies need to do, to ensure having a winning season. The Huskies need to win (1) Turnover Margin (be on the plus side) and (2) Time of Possession. The last time the Huskies won both of those two statistics in the same season was back in 2002, coincidentally the last time they went to a bowl game and had a winning season.    

Prediction: If the Huskies win those two stats, they will go to a bowl game at the end of next season. Most of the other stats will take care of themselves.

4.   Improve Jake Locker’s passing efficiency: Next season Locker needs to complete more than 50% of his passes and throw for more touchdown passes than he throws interceptions.

Prediction: If Jake meets those two goals, the Huskies have a real shot at winning both Time of Possession and Turnover Margin next season.

5.   Find a power running back. The Huskies need a power running back to compliment the speedsters who are slated to fill the RB position in 2008 – say, somebody around 6’ 2” and 230 pounds, who runs a 4.5 40-yard dash.

Prediction: Jake Locker will be the power running back, as well as the quarterback.

6.   Avoid serious injuries: Although the Huskies lost a couple of key defensive players to injury last season, in the main, they stayed relatively injury free.

Prediction: If the Dawgs stay mostly healthy, they will have a real shot at winning both Time of Possession and Turnover Margin next season.

7.   Shed and add a few pounds: I would like to see most of the offensive linemen lose some weight before next season begins and spend more time in the weight room.

Prediction: You guessed it.

8.   Open up practices to the media: Ty Willingham needs to remove the restriction that limits the media’s access to football practice to just its first 45 minutes, especially for spring football.

Prediction: The media will still be on Tyrone’s case, one way or the other.

9.   Stay out of trouble: The Huskies and their boosters need to avoid violations involving NCAA bylaws. The players need to stay sober and avoid the campus/downtown police blotters.

Prediction: If the Dawgs stay clean, they’ll win both Time of Possession and Turnover Margin in 2008. Geez, what did you expect me to say. Staying clean turns the “Go 2 Guy” into a “Paint Dry Guy.”

     10. Think stats: Ty Willingham needs to think about our two elegant stats -- which are truly synergistic. 

Prediction: Otherwise by year's end, school president Mark Emmert will think "Mora" Jim than him, Jim Mora, that is.

 

Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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