A question on the live chat yesterday has led to a few comments from readers that made me think I should throw a poll question up here to let the masses decide — especially with the lull in proceedings that is the off-season.
The question concerned what was reasonable to expect out of the Huskies by 2013 — is nine wins enough?
One reader said by that point — which would be year five of the Steve Sarkisian era — the Huskies should be expecting BCS bowls every year.
Certainly, that’s basically what happened in the Don James era, when UW got to the Rose Bowl in year three, the first of what would today be considered seven BCS bowls from 1978-1993 —- or just about one every two years. He had five other years when the reversal of just one loss might also have put UW in the Rose Bowl.
Some might argue that the James era is a little bit of an aberration in UW’s overall history — the Huskies have 15 total “BCS” bowls in their history, and as noted, seven occurred in James’ heyday — and shouldn’t be held up as a legitimate expectation for all future coaches.
And the landscape now is obviously different, with more schools able to compete consistently for BCS bowls.
There’s also the matter of where the program sits currently. On paper, UW has made a significant jump in Sarkisian’s two seasons, going from 0-12 to 7-6. Some would argue, though, that the 2008 team was more realistically a four- or five-win team that simply had everything go wrong, then cashed it in once it became obvious a coaching change was going to be made. If you agree with that assessment, it could be argued UW has a lot more work to do to get to that 9-10-11-win stage.
Regardless, going from where UW is now — a team that a year ago was able to get to, and win, a mid-tier bowl — to where it wants to be (consistent BCS contention) figures to be the toughest step in the process.
Assuming few think that can happen in 2011 with what remains a young roster and a new quarterback, is it realistic to think it should happen in 2012? 2013?
Tell me what you think.