Why Washington Will Not Return To Dominance

Okay, I’m playing Devils Advocate for this post- pessimist hat on!….

  • 47080-h-56-c Need a great coach. We will need a coach as great as Don James (153-57-2), Gil Dobie (58-0-3). Rick Neuheusel and Jim Lambright were good, but not great. Jim Owens had his years but his final W/L percent was 55%. In the modern era Washington has had six coaches not counting Sarkisian. That’s the one in six chance of having another Don James.
  • No longer owns the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon schools have grown too good and WSU has had some great teams – they are no longer “the other” Washington team.
  • Recruiting recruiting recruiting. The UW needs to get solid recruits from Southern California. With USC as dominant as it is, in the best players will always go there. Washington was able to grow dominant when USC became somewhat lack-luster.
  • Their reputation. Washington has been down for too long. Most of the young recruits weren’t born when Washington dominated the Pac-10 and was one of the few dominant teams in the country were in third and fourth grade the last time Washington was “good”.
  • Other Pac-10 Coaches. Some of the best coaches in the Pac-10 are still active to this day. Pete Carroll (USC), Mike Bellotti (now the AD at Oregon), Mike Riley (OSU), Jeff Tedford (Cal), and Dennis Erickson (ASU). Just have a look at this post from Jon Wilner. When Don James was coaching he was without a doubt the best coach in the Pac-10. It’s improbable that we get a coach as good as, if not better, than the above.

I think Washington can return to competitiveness. I see them becoming a solid team; one that can consistently go 6-6 to 8-4 during the regular season. I can see being nationally ranked, but rarely above number 20. Dominance means we consistently see a record of 9-3 or better and consistently finish in the top two or three of the Pac-10.  Sure, I’d love to see this but I’m a realist. I’m behind Sarkisian all the way, but I’m not going to fool myself nor will I view Washington through “Rose Bowl” colored glasses.

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