Seasons such as 2008 — when UW played BYU, Notre Dame and Oklahoma as its non-conference foes — are likely over forever (actually, UW fans hope seasons like that are over forever in every conveivable way, though this particular discussion is solely about scheduling).
Under AD Scott Woodward and coach Steve Sarkisian, the Huskies plan to fully adopt the A-B-C model of non-conference scheduling, meaning playing one A-list team, one B-lister and one C-lister.
Such a schedule is designed to give a team two games in which it is favored to win, and then a third that is a big-money, high-profile affair that helps balance the budget while also providing an opportunity to make a national name.
This year’s slate seems to fit that philosophy perfectly with Nebraska in the role of the A-list team, Hawaii as the B-lister and Eastern Washington as the C team.
But if the pre-season media polls are any indication, the schedule may be deceptively tough.
The Western Athletic Conference released its official media poll today, with Hawaii selected as the favorite. And that means all three of UW’s non-conference opponents have been selected as the favorites in their conference.
Eastern Washington, the defending FCS champion, was earlier picked as the favorite in the Big Sky. Nebraska, meanwhile, was picked as the favorite in the Big Ten in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s pre-season poll of conference media. That is the closest thing there is to a media poll this year as the conference decided not to have an official pre-season poll at the request of the coaches.
Then comes nine Pac-12 conference games, completing a schedule that while maybe a little easier on paper, figures to create more than enough challenges for the Huskies in 2011.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller with lots of news and notes around the Pac-12.
— The Ventura County Star has some updates on UW players with ties to that area (though I’ll note that Sarkisian said at media day he anticipates Erik Kohler starting the season playing primarily tackle).
— Dr. Saturday has a season preview of Nebraska.
— Oregon coach Chip Kelly was a little more revealing on NCAA matters in an interview with ESPN.
— Dwight Jaynes wonders what the Pac-12 Networks are going to show all day long and if anyone will be watching.
— SI.com’s Joe Posnanski with an interesting read on the debate about paying players.
— The Tennessean has a good overview of the Titans’ QB situation with Matt Hasselbeck in the fold and Jake Locker waiting in the wings.
— A few UW commits have been picked to play in the new Semper Fidelis Bowl.
All for now.