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Hawaii and the 1960 National Champions
Malamute, 28 January 2007

Is the pot at the end of the rainbow filled with fool's gold? Answer: Could be. Washington has won just one national championship, right? Answer: Wrong.

The Hawaii game

Why top off a lugubrious looking schedule with a trip to the islands? Have the UW administrators gone mad? Where is Tyrone Willingham's backbone? Running roughshod over Tyrone and his troops won’t win any points with the fans.

Adding another game to the 2007 schedule is liable to get a player injured that otherwise wouldn’t have been. The kids won’t get paid, but their doctors will. Thirteen games are too many for the players, as well as for loyal fans about to be punished by a fifth consecutive year of mediocre Husky football, winning at Hawaii or not. NOT.

Of course, the coach has to go along with the bureaucracy. I wouldn't expect anything else. He turned down the Hawaii game last year, but feels his 2007 team will better able to handle the Rainbows.

Yeah, I’ll show up at Picture Day 2007, shake as many hands as I can and wish them all luck.


Now it’s ten. Ten of next season’s opponents had better Division I-A statistics in 6 key categories of measure than Washington did. Eleven of them had better won/lost records. (See "Patience").

Going into last season, Willingham said that his team’s success depended on the play of the offensive line. In the main, his five offensive linemen played all season long, being worn down by October, so much so, that there was no semblance of an offense left in the game against Stanford. Toss out the big plays in the Apple Cup and the offensive stats looked the same as they did against Stanford. Toss out Isaiah and last season would have been a disaster. (See "Homilies").

Two of the better offensive linemen have been lost to graduation. Their replacements have little or no experience. And who are behind them?

In addition to the offensive line, questions at quarterback, running back, cornerback, safety and the punting/kicking game need answering. Depth is another issue.

There are no gimmees on Tyrone’s schedule. Every schedule needs a foot wedge, a rollover and a mulligan. However, nobody has ever lost a game during a bye week. That’s good…for the healing it does with the players – and the fans. 

Is there help on the way?

Currently, scout.com is reporting that the 2007 UW recruiting class ranks twenty-fifth in the nation. The class is highlighted by four 4-star recruits; a couple of them are waiting for the results of their SATs.

Four and five star recruits (playmakers) can make a difference among those programs bound by parity, regardless of their relative national recruiting rankings over the years. Thanks to the NCAA, most of the nation’s programs are deadlocked with each other in a quagmire. For one thing, a program locked in parity with another program can extricate itself by having more difference-makers than the other. An ingenious coach is one such person, a can’t-miss first-round NFL draft pick being another. Throw a swing pass to Jonathan Stewart and let him win the game. Stanback was a difference-maker. The list goes on.

Minimizing mistakes helps. Concentrate on special teams. Yell your voice hoarse. Does the squad have depth? We all know the coaching clichés. We’ve had a gutful of them spewed at us over the last four years. 

Why not just pound the holly mercy out of the other dude? I want to see Tyrone soaked with Gatorade, not with virtual Pineapple juice as a result of a moral victory. The erstwhile Sundodgers are playing the Rainbows? That line won’t spark any interest in the Gods who rule cable TV.

But the trip over to Hawaii will be fun. Just don’t talk to me on the flight back to the mainland.

The 1960 National Champions

A couple of days ago, a poster on dawgman.com, wrote, “They will honor the 1959-1960 UW National Championship Football team - yes we are now calling that team a national champion as some news media declared us champions by beating Minnesota. The team will honor the 59-60 team (sic) in a special way.”

According to the poster, the 1960 team, coached by Jim Owens, will be honored at the 2007 USC game, which will be played in Husky Stadium. 

Let’s hope that Jim Owens is well enough to make the trip to Seattle for the game. He is truly one of the great UW coaches and deserves added recognition, this buttressing the reason for erecting his statue.  Owens is one of three UW coaches to win the Rose Bowl, having won it twice.

The Helm foundation voted the UW football team (10-1) as national champions for the 1960 season. AP, FB News, NFF, and UPI voted Minnesota (8-2) national champions that same year.

UW’s only loss in 1960 was to Navy, 15-14, and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino. Bellino (5’9, 181 pounds) was a one-man show, putting on one of the greatest individual performances ever seen at Husky Stadium.

Washington went on to beat Minnesota, 17-7, in the 1961 Rose Bowl.

1960 National Champions and the polls
Iowa (8-1, lost to Minnesota):
Berryman, Boand, Litkenhous, Sagarin
Minnesota (8-2, lost to UW, Purdue): AP, FB News, NFF, UPI
Mississippi (10-0-1, tied by LSU): Billingsley, DeVold, Dunkel, Football Research, FW, National Championship Foundation, Williamson
Missouri (10-1, lost to Kansas): Poling
Washington (10-1, lost to Navy): Helm

Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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