If you haven’t figured out, UW will be facing a lot of 2009 bowl teams in 2010 — nine, including seven from the Pac-10. Or, all but WSU, Arizona State and Syracuse.
Two more of those teams will be in action tonight in the Holiday Bowl when Arizona takes on Nebraska at 5 p.m. (here’s a good nuts-and-bolts preview of the game from ESPN.com’s Ted Miller).
UW is scheduled to play at Arizona next Oct. 23, and it will be a Wildcat team that will lose a few pretty good players but will also have enough back to again be considered a likely bowl team and contender for an upper-division finish in the Pac-10.
Here’s Arizona’s depth chart for tonight’s game, and you can see there are three seniors on offense, six on defense, so the Wildcats figure to be a pretty explosive offensive team in 2010. The big question there could be offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes, a former Texas Tech assistant who could be in line to take over there now with Mike Leach fired. He’s already being mentioned prominently as a possible replacement.
Arizona obviously loses more on defense next year, but should return maybe the best pair of defensive ends in the conference in juniors Ricky Elmore and Brooks Reed. And coach Mike Stoops has proven the ability to field consistently solid defensive units during his time at Arizona.
The Huskies are set to host Nebraska next Sept. 18, the final of three non-conference games.
It’ll be a Nebraska team that won’t have its most-celebrated player from this year, DT Ndamukong Suh, a senior who was named the AP College Football Player of the Year.
But otherwise, Nebraska is a relatively young team. Here’s Nebraska’s depth chart for tonight’s game, and it features just one senior starter on offense, center Jacob Hickman. Nebraska has five seniors starting on defense tonight, including Suh. The others are DE Barry Turner, WLB Phillip Dillard and safeties Larry Asante and Matt O’Hanlon.
But the general consensus is that Nebraska will have enough back to be pretty darn good in 2010. The first pre-season poll for next year that I’ve seen, from NationalChamps.net, has the Cornhuskers at No. 12. Here’s their assessment of Nebraska heading into 2010, crediting the Cornhuskers with 17 likely returning starters next season.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Greg Biggins has an update on a CB UW is recruiting, Greg Ducre of Crenshaw High in LA (though I think he means Jan. 15 for the visit). That’s when Scout.com has Ducre set to visit.
— Per the request of one reader during the live chat, here’s a link to what is likely to be UW’s schedule for 2010. As noted, this is not official yet as the conference has yet to approve the conference schedule for next season. But indications are that this will be what the final schedule will look like for UW.
— Jim Moore picks Arizona to win tonight and Stanford to win tomorrow (with exciting, full-color photos to boot!!!).
— Here’s news about a couple of underclassmen UCLA won’t have next season, notably DT Brian Price, who will enter the NFL Draft.
— Finally, I was able to talk to UW commits Erik Kohler, Chris Young, Darius Waters and Jamaal Kearse today, all of whom are playing in the Offense-Defense Bowl Saturday. I’ll have some/all of that up later today.
All for now.