The Fabulous Peltoncast No. 12

Featuring special guest cousin Michael, this week’s episode of The Fabulous Peltoncast celebrates Thanksgiving by counting down our five favorite Thanksgiving food items and previews Friday’s Apple Cup with perspectives from both sides of the rivalry.



Intro – Welcoming Michael to the podcast and touting the up-and-coming holiday Thanksgiving Eve
3:00 – Husky basketball 2K Sports Classic recap; can the season be saved?
9:00 – The streaking Blazers and their scuffle with the Warriors. Season win projections?
19:00 – Seahawks suspensions of cornerbacks Brandon BrownerWalter Thurmond III; which hurts worst?
29:00 – Apple Cup! Keys to the game, Keith Price vs. Cyler Miles, chances of winning
43:00 – Thanksgiving! Best Thanksgiving foods, beer pairings, Thanksgiving football memories
59:30 – Fantasy, including Tristan‘s suggestion for a rules change in our league

This Week’s Links

Kevin on the Husky Hoops Rut
Pro Football Talk’s Browner Theory

Thanksgiving Food Rankings

1. Turkey
2. Gravy
3. Sweet Potatoes
4. Mashed Potatoes
5. Pumpkin Pie

1. Gravy
2. Mashed Potatoes
3. Rolls
4. Turkey
5. Pumpkin Pie

1. Stuffing
2. Turkey
3. Gravy
4. Pumpkin Pie
5. “Flaky” Dinner Rolls


The Husky Hoops Rut

Befitting its location mere blocks from Broadway, Madison Squre Garden is designed like a stage, with the darkness of the crowd sharply contrasted against the well-lit court. The bright spotlight can provide an opportunity for players and teams to step up and shine, but the harsh glare also makes it impossible to hide flaws. Such was the case for the Washington Huskies during their two-game visit to the Garden last week. After getting blown out by Indiana in the opener, they couldn’t get enough stops to hang with a Boston College team picked 8th in the ACC.

The Huskies flew home Saturday ranked 142nd in the nation by, their lowest mark in the three-plus seasons the Pomeroy ratings have been tracked game-by-game and 11th in the Pac-12 conference right now. While Lorenzo Romar‘s teams have a history of overcoming slow starts, and the expected return of Desmond Simmons makes it nearly certain this year’s group will be better in a month or two, Washington has been so bad thus far that better still might mean finishing among the Pac-12 teams either rebuilding (USC, Utah) or historically near the bottom of the conference (Oregon State, Washington State).

Though I picked them eighth in the Pac-12, I had higher hopes for the Huskies. With some luck, I thought this could be an NCAA tournament team, a notion that now seems preposterous. Part of the issue, without question, is the injuries that have struck the UW frontline. The size and athleticism of Jernard Jarreau, out for the season after rupturing his ACL just minutes into the opener, was badly missed against Indiana’s talented frontcourt. And Simmons, out until December after arthroscopic knee surgery, would have been invaluable on the glass and given the Huskies a better matchup for today’s inside-out power forwards.

Even at full strength, however, it appears Washington would have been far from the tournament conversation. And with star guard C.J. Wilcox and post scorer Perris Blackwell graduating after this season, it’s getting more difficult to see a path back to contention in the Pac-12. The conference, so far down when the Huskies won it during the regular season two years ago, has gotten better while UW has stood still at best and regressed at worst.

The short-term concern is whether Washington can adapt to the new “freedom of movement” rules enforcement instituted by the NCAA this season. Romar has always favored an aggressive perimeter defense, and part of my optimism over the summer was rooted in the belief that the Huskies could get back to that style after their lack of depth on the perimeter forced them to play more conservatively the last two years.

UW has changed its style in response, and is putting opponents on the free throw line relatively less frequently than two seasons ago, let alone during the highpoints of the Romar era. But the ferocity with which the Huskies traditionally defended has been lost in the process. They’re forcing even fewer turnovers than last season, which had been their low-water mark under Romar, while allowing perimeter players to blow by them off the dribble. That’s putting foul-prone Shawn Kemp Jr. on the bench early and forcing Washington to play smallball to try to survive, which has gotten them destroyed on the glass and in the paint.

The more pressing question for me is whether Romar has lost his way in terms of recruiting. The Huskies built their success over the last decade on a simple formula: keep talented local players at home and surround them with underrated, hard-working recruits who will develop on Montlake. Despite a strong 2013 recruiting class headlined by top point guard Nigel Williams-Goss, neither pillar seems to be working right now.

In the past, homegrown talent like Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy and Isaiah Thomas provided UW’s foundation. To the extent the Seattle area has produced those kinds of players over the last few years, aside from Tony Wroten they’ve ended up elsewhere. Little-used backup guard Hikeem Stewart is the only Husky on scholarship from the Puget Sound area, and while Timberline’s Donaven Dorsey will join him next season, he belongs more in the category of overachiever than NBA-bound star.

The dropoff in the latter category is more troubling. Wilcox, a three-star recruit who initially redshirted before developing into an NBA prospect, is precisely the kind of player Washington once routinely found. Romar has relied on players like Justin Holiday and Bobby Jones who kept improving throughout their four years on campus.

The aggressive Andrew Andrews and scrappy Mike Anderson may prove they belong in that category, and Jarreau could have joined them had he stayed healthy, but too many of their peers lack the fiery attitude that distinguished Holiday and Jones. The issues with transition defense and slow starts that have plagued the Huskies the last couple of seasons were never problematic before, and the attacking style that made UW so fun to play has gone missing and taken the intimidating atmosphere of a sold-out Hec Edmundson Pavilion with it. Within the last three years, the Huskies have lost more than twice as many home non-conference games (five) than they did in the previous eight combined (two).

Romar is not ignorant of these issues. He’s made wholesale changes to the coaching staff the last two summers to try to bring new spark to the program, but so far they have resulted in nothing but more of the same. Washington has gone off track, and I’m increasingly concerned they won’t be able to find their way back any time soon.

Sankey Chasing UW History: Week 11

Saturday’s 69-27 blowout at Oregon State was enormous for Bishop Sankey‘s quest to break the Husky single-season rushing record. With 169 yards on 27 carries during his abbreviated evening — two backups, Deontae Cooper and Dwayne Washington, cracked the century mark in relief — Sankey moved into second place on the UW single-season list behind Corey Dillon:

Player             Year   Yards   YPG
Corey Dillon       1996   1695   141.3
BISHOP SANKEY      2013   1575   143.2
Chris Polk         2011   1488   114.5
Bishop Sankey      2012   1439   110.7
Greg Lewis         1990   1407   117.3
Napoleon Kaufman   1994   1390   126.4
Napoleon Kaufman   1993   1299   118.1

But Sankey is now all alone on top through 11 games, the traditional NCAA regular season:

Player             Year   Yards   YPG
BISHOP SANKEY      2013   1575   143.2
Corey Dillon       1996   1555   141.4
Napoleon Kaufman   1994   1390   126.4
Napoleon Kaufman   1993   1299   118.1
Greg Lewis         1990   1279   116.3
Chris Polk         2011   1241   112.8
Bishop Sankey      2012   1150   104.5

The chart shows Sankey (in purple) ahead of the pace set by Dillon (the top gray line) and anyone else in UW history.

UW rushing leaders

With a bowl game likely on tap, having rushed for at least 189 yards in every two-game stretch this season, Sankey is a near-lock to break Dillon’s record. The more interesting question is whether he can get there in next Friday’s Apple Cup and match Dillon in an equivalent number of games. He’ll need 120 yards to do so, a mark he’s surpassed eight times in 11 outings this season.

The Fabulous Peltoncast No. 11

It’s a special bi-coastal edition of The Fabulous Peltoncast recorded via Skype as Kevin describes his trip to Bristol and New York City, followed by a preview of the Husky basketball team in the 2K Sports Classic, a review of the Seahawks cruising into the bye week at 10-1 and a discussion of Steve Sarkisian’s future at UW.



Intro – Kevin’s trip to ESPN and New York, plus reviewing last night’s Knicks-Pacers game at the Garden
10:00 – Husky basketball recap and preview of 2K Sports Classic vs. Indiana and UConn/Boston College (plus why we want to beat UConn so badly)
18:00 – Recapping the Seahawks blowing out Minnesota, the returns of Percy Harvin and the offensive line and where they stand going into the bye
32:00 – A tough loss at UCLA, Myles Jack‘s future position and Steve Sarkisian‘s future at UW
45:00 – Tailgating
51:30 – Fantasy, with the playoff push

This Week’s Links

Jermaine Kearse player page on Pro-Football-Reference
Kevin scouts 7-6 Mamadou Ndiaye from UC Irvine (Insider)

Sankey Chasing Husky History: Week 9

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve looked at Washington running back Bishop Sankey‘s quest to break the Husky single-season rushing record. After piling up 143 yards in Saturday’s lopsided win over Colorado, Sankey is just eight yards back of Napoleon Kaufman (1994) for the most yards by a Washington running back through nine weeks:

Player             Year  Yards   YPG
Napoleon Kaufman   1994   1313   145.9
BISHOP SANKEY      2013   1305   145.0
Greg Lewis         1990   1229   136.6
Corey Dillon       1996   1178   130.9
Chris Polk         2011   1096   121.8

Sankey should surpass Kaufman next week; Kaufman sprained an ankle during Week 10 and ran for just 11 yards. (He picked up 77 yards the remainder of the season, since the NCAA regular season was 11 games back then and the Huskies were prohibited from a bowl game.) But the Week 10 record Kaufman is chasing actually belongs to Corey Dillon, who vaulted into first place with 222 yards in the first quarter of a midseason non-conference game against San Jose State. Sankey needs 95 yards to stay ahead of Dillon through Week 10. You can see Dillon’s surge as the top line on the chart, with Sankey (in purple) nearly identical to Kaufman’s 1994 season.


Sankey’s total yardage currently ranks seventh in UW single-season history, but he’s got a realistic chance to finish Friday night as high as third if he rushes for 134 yards:

Player             Year  Yards    YPG
Corey Dillon       1996   1695   141.3
Chris Polk         2011   1488   114.5
Bishop Sankey      2012   1439   110.7
Chris Polk         2010   1415   108.8
Greg Lewis         1990   1407   117.3
Napoleon Kaufman   1994   1390   126.4
BISHOP SANKEY      2013   1305   145.0

He also remains slightly ahead of Dillon’s pace, which if maintained would allow him to set the single-season record without the benefit of the extra game the Huskies will likely play this season with a bowl appearance.

The Fabulous Peltoncast No. 10

The Fabulous Peltoncast celebrates its milestone 10th episode by sponsoring Jermaine Kearse’s page on Pro Football Reference. After discussing that, your hosts preview Husky hoops and this year’s crop of elite freshmen, recap the Seahawks’ blowout win at Atlanta and how the playoff picture cleared up, preview UW’s season-defining visit to UCLA on Friday night and review the microbrews from last Saturday’s tailgate.



Intro – The Peltoncast’s foray into page sponsorship
4:00 – NCAA basketball and UW hoops preview
21:00 – Recapping the Seahawks finally winning a blowout, looking ahead to Minnesota and a view of the playoff picture (with special attention to the surging Panthers)
42:30 – Previewing the Huskies’ trip to UCLA after an easy win over Colorado
51:00 – Tailgating, with reviews of Ballast Point IPA, Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout and Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA and Deschutes Hop Trip Fresh Hop Pale Ale
52:00 – Fantasy, with this week’s waiver claims

This Week’s Links

Jermaine Kearse player page on Pro-Football-Reference
Kevin’s UW basketball preview (Insider)
Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale page
Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout page
Dad’s Little Helper page
Hop Trip Fresh Hop Pale Ale page

Fabulous Peltoncast No. 9

A day late but just in time for tonight’s busy sports night, the Fabulous Peltoncast returns with a Portland-heavy episode. (You might call it — and Tristan did — the Portlandcast.) Your hosts discuss emotions around tonight’s Stanford-Oregon game, the conclusion of the Sounders-Timbers playoff derby and debate the Blazers’ chalupa/McDonald’s giveaways before getting down to discussing the state of the Seahawks (complete with threat levels as a guide to concern) and previewing this Sunday’s game at Atlanta before wrapping up with a discussion of the microbrews Tristan tried at last Sunday’s Seahawks tailgate.



Intro – Who you got in Stanford-Oregon?
9:00 – Sounders-Timbers series update
12:00 – Blazers’ first week, plus the ongoing chalupa/McDonald’s controversy and how we would do it
24:00 – Emotions during the Seahawks-Buccaneers game and level of Seahawks concern
34:00 – Previewing Seahawks-Falcons
43:00 – Tailgating, with microbrew and Pok Pok reviews
52:00 – Fantasy, with this week’s waiver claims

This Week’s Links

Chalupa reaction on Blazersedge
Chasin Freshies Fresh Hop IPA page
Pok Pok restaurant