College Football Nation: Washington Goes Both Ways and March Madness

Jeff Hostetler FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

As spring ball is about to start, the nation still has its eyes turned toward March Madness.  It has been the most exciting two days the tournament has seen in years.  Not a single perfect bracket is left.  Watching the underdog win and move on is always exciting.  I am really pulling for a “Cinderella” team to win it all.

The same excitement we are experiencing with the March Madness will be experienced this year with college football’s playoff starting.  Every game, every play and every decision made will determine if your team makes the “Final Four!” I look forward to seeing how it all shakes out, but what I do not look forward to is if my team is ranked No. 5 at the end of the year and gets left out of the playoff.  I think the playoffs are going to be great and will eventually expand after a couple years.  Now, let’s get into  some news and thoughts from this past week.

1) UCLA’s Myles Jack had a break out game against Arizona last year.  He usually plays on defense at linebacker, but UCLA’s Coach Jim Mora put him on offense to get him a few touches.  It proved to be the difference maker that night as Myles Jack rushed for more than 120 yards and the game winning touchdown.

With this in mind, Washington looks to use Shaq Thompson on both sides of the ball this season.  Washington Coach Chris Peterson remembers his explosiveness on both sides of the ball, and looks to bring that back for his first year on the job. If this proves to be a success, look for more schools to follow their example.

I think it’s great that coaches are willing to use an athlete, such as Jack or Thompson, on both sides of the ball.  Many kids in high school play 2 or 3 positions before they make the transition to play only one position in college.  If Jack and Thompson have big years on both sides of the ball, look for more and more schools to use star players in this manner.

2) Top ranked quarterback Josh Rosen committed to UCLA this past week.  What does that mean?  To keep it simple, it means the top prospect for 2015 is headed to UCLA.  In reality, it means UCLA will also be able to use him as the center piece for their 2015 recruiting class and as a selling point for future recruits.  Schools always want to sign a quarterback early and use them in the “sales pitch” for their recruiting class.

After the Pac-12 not being in the mix of having any top recruiting classes for 2014, I expect UCLA and a few other schools to make some noise.  I imagine UCLA and USC both will be in the spotlight for recruiting this season.  It’s all about momentum in college football and UCLA is looking to keep it going with recruiting this season.

3) Speaking of building momentum, FSU is striking while the iron is hot.  Texas A&M struck last season because of Johnny Manziel, and now it is FSU’s turn thanks to Jameis Winston and winning the national championship.  FSU is looking to upgrade their locker room and other football facilities.  When the program is winning championships and in the spotlight, it is time to hit up the alumni for donations and upgrade the facilities.  As long as Jameis Winston is leading that team, life will be good in Seminole Country.

Thank goodness for March Madness because I am dying here with out college football.  I was so desperate for football last night that I was watching a random Arena football game.  Yes, I enjoy the fast paced and high scoring Arena football games, but it was a random internet feed and really hard to watch.

Here is the list of spring football games so you can plan out your next month accordingly.


1) Georgia Jail Time

2) North Texas all in

3) Oregon to South Florida

4) Louisville’s new defense

5) Star player who can save coach’s job

FishDuck Going to Articles on Monday and Tuesday Only…

Our off-season schedule begins, and we move from publishing articles seven days a week to Mondays and Tuesdays only. Same great group of writers, and we will have an article on other days on occasion.

The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there.  At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.

Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

OBD Forum members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!