Wednesday, January 4, 2012
3-point stance: Watch out for the Huskies
By Ivan Maisel
1. The decision by Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon to leave Tennessee to resuscitate the Washington defense isn’t necessarily a commentary on the struggles that Derek Dooley is undergoing in Knoxville. Both guys are from the Pacific Northwest, and every coach is allowed a move to go home. But there is an implicit endorsement of Husky coach Steve Sarkisian, who took the Huskies from the bottom of the Pac-10 and is stalled below the top tier of the Pac-12 North. If Washington gets a defense, watch out.
2. In the wake of that thrilling Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma State and Stanford are faced with the task of how to sustain their newfound success. The Cowboys had the benefit of a 28-year-old quarterback and a once-in-a-generation wideout. The Cardinal rode the mind and body of their once-in-a-generation quarterback and a brutish offensive line. Coaches Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State and David Shaw of Stanford think they have capitalized on their program’s success by upgrading their recruiting. We’ll find out in September.
3. Go figure: Alabama, Boise State and Stanford suffer crushing losses this season because of their inability to execute a field goal. Virginia Tech suspends its regular kicker from playing in the Sugar Bowl, then sends his backup home from New Orleans for missing curfew. Third-string kicker Justin Myer comes in against Michigan and makes kicks of 37, 43, 36 and 25 yards before missing a 37-yarder in overtime. Myer not only kept the Hokies in the game, he showed why coaches don’t use a scholarship on a kicker.