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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 8, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Sagarin says UW has played nation’s toughest schedule

Here’s another computer ranking this morning saying that the Huskies have played the toughest schedule in the nation, this one from Jeff Sagrain of USA Today, one of the more respected ratings of this type.
Sagrain has Oregon rated No. 1 in his overall ratings, Stanford No. 3 and Arizona No. 11, so the fact that UW has played each of those teams the last three weeks obviously has strengthened the schedule rating the last few weeks.
He also has Nebraska at No. 6, and Oregon State at No. 19 and USC No. 20, meaning UW has played six of its first nine games against what Sagrain rates as the top 20 teams in the country.
The other teams UW has played so far are BYU at 69, Syracuse at 56 and Arizona State at 31.
Obviously, other than Nebraska, all of the highly-ranked teams on that list are simply Pac-10 teams that UW has to figure out how to beat eventually to return to elite status.
And the fact that Sagrain has the Pac-10 rated so high means a lot of other conference teams also rank highly in the strength of schedule ratings.
Here’s how it breaks down among Pac-10 teams: Washington (1), Oregon State (2), Washington State (3), UCLA (4), Arizona State (5, which seems surprising given non-conference games against Portland State and Northern Arizona), Cal (7), USC (9), Arizona (12), Stanford (16) and Oregon (36).
So that’s obviously five Pac-10 teams as having the five toughest schedules in the country and eight of the top 12, so this is also a little bit of just an overall acknowledgement of the schedules that Pac-10 teams play.
And for UW, this will change a little in future seasons as UW is downshifting slighthly, replacing games with BYU the next two years (home and road) with home games against Eastern Washington in 2011 and Portland State in 2012.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
Ted Miller has UW ranked ninth in his weekly Pac-10 power ratings.
— Lots of Oregon and Pac-10 links from Ken Goe and WSU and Pac-10 links from Vince Grippi.
Rick Neuheisel said UCLA is now focusing only on Washington. UCLA is 4-5 and has games with Arizona State and USC after playing the Huskies, so it surely views beating UW as a necessity for getting to a bowl game.
— Here’s more aftermath of UCLA’s win over Oregon State.
More later after UW coach Steve Sarkisian’s press conference at noon.

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