As I drove across the I-90 bridge last night, rain falling on my windshield while I listened to Chris Petersen’s weekly radio show, it felt, for the first time this year, like football season. Guessing that feeling may heighten over the next three days leading up to Washington’s season opener at Boise State on Friday night.
And since it is that time of year again, we’re back with our morning links post, which you can expect once more on a daily basis throughout the season. You can probably also expect a few more episodes of Season 2 of “The Pursuit,” the first installment of which is posted above.
Here we go:
--- Our story in today’s newspaper examines the strong ties between Petersen, his staff at UW and Boise State’s current staff under coach Bryan Harsin. An excerpt:
Asked this week to describe what that atmosphere might be like, Petersen quipped: “I think when a game is billed as the biggest game in school history, I don’t think you have to do a lot of describing.”
That might be overselling it a bit, given that during Petersen’s tenure as head coach the Broncos twice went undefeated and won two BCS bowl games (and won another bowl game last season after he left).
But his point stands: this is a big one. It’s unique, too. Coaches leave for new jobs all the time, but it’s not often that a coach leaves for a different school in a different conference and then winds up facing his old team just two years later. Especially after leading the old team to 92 wins in eight seasons.
And it’s not just weird for Petersen. Eight of UW’s nine assistant coaches worked with him at Boise, and six of them were there during Petersen’s final season.
Plus, Bryan Harsin, Boise State’s second-year head coach, was Petersen’s offensive coordinator at Boise for five years, and five of Harsin’s assistants — Marcel Yates, Andy Avalos, Julius Brown, Scott Huff and Lee Marks — either worked or played for Petersen.
Because of those connections, Pete Kwiatkowski, UW’s defensive coordinator, doesn’t try to conceal this game’s significance. He played at Boise. He coached at Boise. He’s in Boise State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
“It’s not just another game,” he said. “Because a lot of those guys we recruited, and I went there, and I have a lot of friends that went there. … So from that standpoint, it’s not another game for me. But at the end of the day, it is another game, because we’ve got to go out there and we’re going to play our tails off and compete and see what happens.”
Around the Pac-12 ...
Also, I was a guest on KJR 950 AM yesterday with Jason Puckett, and you can give that a listen below.