We’re starting to see a lot of the pre-season predictions surface, such as the one from The Sporting News I wrote about in an entry below, or the ones that the Salt Lake Tribune has been publishing.
Most have UW in third or fourth in the Pac-12 North, with Oregon the favorite, usually followed by Stanford — I’ve yet to see anyone pick anyone other than one of those two to win it.
But as noted in the earlier post today, Bud Withers of our staff picked UW second in his poll for the Salt Lake Tribune’s survey. And I’ve seen UW as low as fifth, though I haven’t seen the Huskies sixth.
The consensus for UW will probably be third or fourth, with Oregon and Stanford a consensus 1-2 and Washington State a consensus last. But there seems to be a lot of mixed opinion on where to put UW, Cal and Oregon State.
The three teams were really pretty similar last year in much of what they did other than the fact that UW beat both on the last play — losses that effectively knocked the Bears and Beavers out of bowls and sent UW to the Holiday Bowl (pictured above is Jake Locker hugging Marques Tuiasosopo after the win over Nebraska in a Dean Rutz photo).
It’s that Holiday Bowl win that gave greater validity to the thought that the Huskies are truly on the rebound.
Locker, however, is now gone, which is the main reason for hesitation about the Huskies in the eyes of many. No position in football is more important than quarterback, and UW will almost certainly enter the season with less experience at that spot than any other in the Pac-12 (basically, only UCLA, if it decides to go with Brett Hundley, could have less).
But while the experts are having their say, figured I’d also let you have yours. So here’s our latest poll, asking where you think the Huskies ought to be slotted in the Pac-12 North: