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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

May 18, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Why don’t the Huskies play any SEC teams?

That’s what one reader wanted to know this week, so I asked Washington athletic director Todd Turner that very question.
First, some background.
UW hasn’t played an SEC school since 1983, when the Huskies were beaten at LSU 40-14 (maybe that had something to do with the drought).
Since then, every other Pac-10 team except Stanford has played SEC teams (Stanford hasn’t faced one since 1978).
“Sure, we’d like to try to do that,” Turner said when I asked him about getting an SEC team on the schedule. “It would be nice.”
But it isn’t likely to happen any time soon as most of the slots on UW’s schedules are filled for the next half-dozen years or so, with no SEC teams in sight.
Turner said UW has talked to some SEC teams in recent years — he mentioned Georgia as one — but said it simply hasn’t worked out.
The reader pointed out that teams like Washington State (Auburn) and Oregon State (LSU) have each played SEC teams in recent years. But those were each games where the SEC team involved didn’t make a return trip.
Washington generally schedules only home-and-home series, and getting an SEC team to make the trip West isn’t easy.
“They don’t really need to come out here because they have so many teams they can play close by,” said Turner, who knows the terrain well, having served as AD at Vanderbilt before coming to UW.
SEC teams may be more willing to make trips to California, a fertile recruiting area, than other spots on the West Coast, Turner said.
Turner also said an SEC team might be more willing to make the trip if UW were again a Top 10-type team.
“In all honesty, TV would have to be the driver (in getting UW and an SEC team together),” Turner said. Turner said that UW’s game at Syracuse this year would never have happened if the two schools hadn’t known it would be picked up for TV.
Turner said there are some concerns about playing an SEC team on UW’s side, as well — namely, the weather. Any road game against an SEC team would likely be early season when the temperature could be 100 degrees and the humidity quite high, something that would have to be carefully considered, he said.
The complicating factor is that scheduling is usually done years in advance making it impossible for either side to know exactly what its team will look like — or the opponent.
In general, Turner said UW will continue to attempt to schedule big-time teams, noting the Huskies recently announced a new deal to play Nebraska in 2010 and 2011 and also has Colorado on the slate in 2015 and 2016 and is in discussions with the likes of Michigan and Notre Dame about playing more games in the future.

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