Friday, August 30, 2013
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Oregon's opulent new Football Performance Center combines the lavishness of a Tudor castle with the clandestine technological sophistication of the Pentagon. The $68 million, 145,000 square foot building is regarded as the most extravagant and impressive facility in college or professional football. I don't know what to think. It's certainly impressive and will no doubt attract recruits, but it sets a new standard of gaudiness for football programs everywhere. On the other hand, given that the University makes millions off these unpaid athletes, why shouldn't they get a taste of the revenues they bring in?
Watch here as Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota gives a tour to ESPN college football analyst (and former Washington Husky QB) Brock Huard.
|Yes, yes. Very nice.|
|The lobby has 64 55-inch televisions. Really?|
|Not bad for a first year head coach.|
|The war room is surrounded with six 80-inch monitors and writable/erasable magnetic walls.|
|The locker room.|
|The weight room.|
|Hydrotherapy pool for coaches.|
|And of course, a barber shop.|
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
|That doesn't suck (click to enlarge)|
Husky Stadium has also proven to be one of the loudest venues in college football. During the 1992 night game against the Nebraska, ESPN measured the noise level at 135 decibels, which as I understand it, was the highest decibel level ever recorded in a college football stadium. If you've ever watched a game on TV when it gets loud, you can see the camera shaking. Autzen Stadium remains the loudest stadium I've ever been to, but I can tell you from experience that when 70,000+ fans Husky fans (compared to 59,000 Duck fans) get loud, it's a whole different experience. I remember my chest vibrating like I was sitting on the subwoofer at a Metallica concert. But in my view, two things have hurt Husky Stadium's claim as one of college football's best gameday locales.
That huge, stupid red track that separates the fans from the field by about 25 yards. Compare that to smothering, claustrophobic feel of Autzen Stadium with the stands just a few feet from the field. The track keeps the fans away from the action and the noise from the field.
The Huskies haven't won more than seven games since 2001. For a program that was a national powerhouse in the 80s and 90s, this is not acceptable. Last year, they lost to the Ducks for the 9th straight year, let the Apple Cup slip away, and were defeated by Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Fans get loud when they have something to cheer about.
The New Husky stadium solves the first problem by eliminating the track. All 70,000 fans will now be right on top of opponents. But for the debut to be a real success, the Huskies must win. A loss in their opener against Boise State would be disastrous. As Steve Sarkisian enters his 5th year as head coach, fans expect the Huskies to compete for the league title. So for this season to be considered a success, the Huskies must win eight games. And they need to beat either Oregon or Stanford, as well as the Cougars along the way.
No easy task. But if they can pull if off, Husky Stadium will be feared once again.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
1999, Nike unveiled yet another uniform for their favorite team. These are actually an extension of the new uniforms featured at the Rose bowl in January. I've gone back and forth on Oregon's uniforms through the years, but I have to admit, these look pretty cool. I especially like the new feather pattern on the shoulders.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Pac-12.com is also up and running. The website features game and programming schedules, team profiles, and conference news. Two weeks and counting 'til 2012 kickoff!