The Huskies will host their Raise the Woof kickoff celebration tomorrow night at 6 p.m.
And maybe if it’s not too late they can get Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated to be the emcee — outside of Dick Baird, no one may be higher on the Huskies right now than Mandel.
A month after saying that the Huskies could be a surprise team in the Pac-12, Mandel today wrote that UW is among the unranked teams that could be a BCS sleeper and that the Huskies could win 10 games this year.
Faithful readers of this blog know my general take — I think the Huskies may still be a year away from really making that kind of leap due to the inexperience at the quarterback sport and a roster that remains on the young side overall. But hope spring eternal this time of year — August being to college football what March is to baseball.
And if the Huskies pull it off, Mandel can say he saw it coming.
IN OTHER HUSKY NEWS. …
— One reason for increasing optimism on Montlake? The progress of the defensive line, which could be the best the school has had in a decade or so. I wrote about that for my story for today’s paper, focusing on true freshman Danny Shelton.
— The preview I wrote on UW for Lindy’s pre-season magazine is now on-line, though remember, this was penned in April for a pre-season magazine so there’s some stuff that is out of date.
— In the best-case scenario for ESPN.com’s Ted Miller, the Huskies will go 10-3. Worst case? You may not want to read it (but I think it adds up to 4-8).
— Miller also says Hau’oli Jamora just missed his list of the top 25 players in the conference.
— And Chris Polk is mentioned in Miller’s wrapup of ESPN’s list of the top draftable offensive players in the conference.
— Lots of fun stuff in ESPN.com’s survey of Pac-12 football coaches, including Steve Sarkisian’s favorite hamburger place (hint: you can’t find it anywhere around here, but those of us who have eaten there before won’t disagree). And those who’d argue opposing coaches didn’t think much of Jake Locker might disappointed.
— I’ll link again the podcast I did with Times columnist Jerry Brewer previewing the season.
— Here’s a rewind of our chat with Don James yesterday.
— The College Football Zealots preview the Pac-12 and pick UW to finish tied for third in the North, and tab Keith Price as a possible breakout player.
— Nate Williams (Ravens) and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim (Eagles) will be in action tonight in an abbreviated NFL exhibition schedule. Te’o-Nesheim, however, has been battling a hamstring injury, which won’t help his fight to make the team.
— Here’s the latest on Ochocino offering to pay Mason Foster’s fine.
AROUND THE PAC-12/COLLEGE FOOTBALL
— Longtime Pac-10/12 writer Jake Curtis has his annual picks and is doing a reverse-Mandel, picking UW fifth in the North.
— Here’s an Associated Press preview of Eastern Washington.
— Oregon State suffered another injury to a key player yesterday.
— Jon Wilner looks at the Pac-12’s future expansion options.
— Lots of Pac-12 links from Vince Grippi.