Is Washington Becoming the Next “Cal” in the Conference?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

We have enjoyed some incredibly humorous posts in the OBD forum concerning what Husky fans say about Oregon, and whether they will be a bowl team in 2022. (Axel has been epic in his lampooning of all that is Washington) I got to thinking about the direction of Washington football over the longer term…and wondered if fellow Oregon fans agreed with this view?  There are too many resources at Montlake to “keep a dawg down” for long, but we can only hope?

I was having some good times gaming at situs judi slot online when this question popped into my Duck-Head, and I had to ponder it further. What is the trendline for the Huskies over the next ten years?

From a coaching standpoint–you have read as I have how opposing coaches hate to prepare for Justin Wilcox at Cal because his teams are so well prepared and coached. Wilcox has grown from the days he was skewered by yours-truly, as he now teaches sound technique….and sportsmanship. I don’t have to remind Duck fans how Cal beat Oregon in 2020, and came within a touchdown in 2021 under Mario Cristobal. If you are not fully prepared or invested into the contest, you will lose to Wilcox–even with a talent advantage.

I have similar respect for the coaching of Kalen DeBoer, as we heard how he coached at little University of Sioux Falls, (South Dakota) but it was an incredible 67-3 record that cannot be denied. I would not malign a coach from a smaller school since Oregon did pretty well with a coach from Chico State, (Mike Bellotti) and little New Hampshire. (Chip Kelly)

Rushing yards were hard to come by against Fresno State.

Coach DeBoer went on to be offensive coordinator at D-1, Power-5 schools with an impressive stint at Indiana, where his offense averaged 443 yards a game in the Big-10? Wowsa. Most recall how we were fortunate to beat his Fresno State team this last fall. It was the only full game that Justin Flowe played, (and was impressive) and where Kayvon Thibodeaux put on a show rarely seen in Eugene.

The Ducks needed those efforts as Oregon only won by one late touchdown at Autzen, as the Ducks had over 40 players on the roster who were 4 or 5-Star HS players, yet the Bulldogs only had one. It was a massive talent disadvantage that did not stop Fresno State and DeBoer from beating Chip Kelly and UCLA later in the season. It is apparent to me that this guy can coach.

What About Recruiting?

Whether Washington returns as a power depends upon if DeBoer can turn around the recruiting trend taking place at Washington. Under Chris Petersen, the average Rivals ranking of recruiting classes for the Huskies was No. 23 in the nation, and since then it has been an average of No. 51 while lagging conference leaders thus far for the 2023 signings. Under Wilcox, the Cal recruiting classes have averaged No. 41 and thus we begin to see some similarities. While the Huskies still have the 3rd most 4 & 5-Star players in the conference currently on their roster–that number is dropping quickly via graduation and portal escapes.

It would suck to lose such a 5-Star in-state talent to Oregon.

The number of state of Washington players ignoring the Huskies is something that Oregon coaches have feasted upon, while Oregon fans have howled-at-the-Dawgs about. The 2023 recruiting class is not going well in Seattle, and the question really revolves around whether the Washington staff has the chops to turn around the declining recruiting trendline that is apparent to all. Adding salt on the wound is the obvious buzz in Eugene, as Coach Dan Lanning is turning heads with big recruiting victories already, with more in the offing.

The question I pose to my FishDuck friends is, “will Washington turn into the new Cal…with a great coach, but a mediocre roster?” It is a delicious point to examine in the “forum-with-decorum” because…

“Oh, how we love to ponder about the opponents of Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
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