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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

June 10, 2011 at 11:13 AM

How much will experience matter?

Those who like to read the college football pre-season magazines know that Phil Steele’s is filled with about as many numbers as any.

Among the charts in his 2011 pre-season issue is one assessing the overall experience of each team.

You need to read Steele’s piece to understand exactly how he came to these numbers but it’s essentially a combination of senior starters and players, returning offensive yards, and returning career OL starts.

As might be expected, given UW’s evident youth at some key spots — notably quarterback — the Huskies don’t rank real high, coming in at 100 out of 120 Division-I teams.

In fact, here’s how the entire Pac-12, as well as UW’s other two D-I foes this year, rate:

UCLA (7th overall)
Colorado (22)
Arizona State (25)
WSU (38)
Oregon State (50)
Stanford (78)
Nebraska (81)
Oregon (83)
Utah (88)
Cal (96)
Washington (100)
Hawaii (101)
USC (102)
Arizona (105)

Obviously, what brings down UW’s number the most is the loss of Jake Locker, since he accounted for so much of Washington’s yards last season passing and rushing.

But quarterback experience has also been proven to be one of the most telling predictors of a college team’s success (obviously there are exceptions, but in general it’s a pretty significant one) so there’s good reason to make that a significant factor in a chart such as this.

And UW’s post-spring depth chart showed potentially just seven senior starters — three on offense and four on defense and only one on the offensive line.

That’s good for down the road. But UW’s overall youth — not to be unexpected in year three of a coaching regime — is another reason why a lot of people think 2012 is more realistic than 2011 to expect a true breakout to a 9- or 10-win season.

Anyway, interesting fodder for June.

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