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Friday, October 20, 2006
Contra Costa Times: Huskies buying into Willingham
The former Stanford and Notre Dame coach has Washington in a winning state of mind
By Jon Wilner
Washington coach Tyrone Willingham inadvertently drew chuckles before the season when he pronounced the Huskies a bowl-caliber team. Apparently, Willingham did not care that they had been picked to finish last in the Pac-10. Or that they won two games last season and one game the season before that. Or that the roster was virtually devoid of high-end talent. "The difference this year," he said Tuesday when asked to explain his preseason pronouncement, "was our team believes a little more in the things Coach Willingham was saying. "And I looked at the conference. You don't have to have the most talent to be successful, but if you play as a team, if you eliminate mistakes, don't beat yourself, then you have a great chance. I thought we did before the season, and I think we have a great opportunity now." After four wins and a controversial loss at USC, the Huskies appeared bowl-bound -- and Willingham was stalking his third Pac-10 Coach of the Year award.