After a 5-1 start to the season that included a 52-24 win over Colorado Saturday, the Washington Huskies are ranked in each of the two major Top 25 polls released this morning.
It’s the first time UW has been ranked since the Huskies were slotted 24th in the AP Poll on Sept. 20, 2009 after beating USC, 16-13.
UW, however, fell out of the poll the next week when it lost at Stanford — the same place the Huskies have to go next Saturday, playing a Cardinal team ranked No. 7 this week.
Otherwise, you have to go back to Oct. 5, 2003 to find the last time UW was rated — and the last time it was rated in both polls. That year, UW was in the polls for the first five weeks of the season before dropping out following a loss at UCLA in what was the first year for Keith Gilbertson as coach taking over for the fired Rick Neuheisel. UW went 6-6 that season, then 1-10 the next year to begin a streak of six straight losing seasons that was snapped last year when Steve Sarkisian led the Huskies to a 7-6 record.
UW has picked up where it left off in 2010 and has now won nine of 10 dating to last season, its best stretch since the 2000-2001 teams won 12 in a row.
Sarkisian had said earlier in the week that maybe UW still had some work to do to change the perception of voters and get in the poll.
After Saturday’s win, he was asked if he felt UW had done that and said “I don’t know. I’d have to ask you that question and then you can tell me what you think of us. I don’t know. We just got out and play hard and I’m proud of that fact. I think that’s what you envision your team to play like when you take a job, and it takes time and you have obstacles that you have to clear to get there as you keep moving forward. The biggest thing I’m the most proud of for me is how hard our kids play — we play hard and we may not always be right and perfect and it may not always look great but I know that we play hard and if that’s the perception (that UW is a ranked team), great, and if it isn’t then we’ve got to play even harder.”
For this week, anyway, the perception was good enough to get UW ranked.
NOW FOR A FEW LINKS. …
— Here’s a full breakdown of everybody who voted for UW in the AP poll.
— Some good stuff here on the UW Daily’s Highlight Show.
— You can vote here for Keith Price (pictured in a Dean Rutz photo) as one of the Impact Performers of the weekend.
— Price named a Winner of the week by CBSSports.com.
— Price also gets some mention from Rivals.com.
— Bud Withers with some thoughts on how UW can beat the Cardinal after watching Stanford pummel WSU yesterday.
— The Stanford blog Rule of Tree looks back at the Cardinal’s win over WSU.
— More thoughts on that game from The Daily Axe.
— Price gets one of Ted Miller’s helmet stickers.
— Miller also says UW looks ready for a big test.
— The Denver Post looks at Colorado’s tough day.
— Lots more on the Stanford game and links around the Pac-12 from Vince Grippi.
— Rivals.com looks at how Oregon is surviving despite a slew of injuries.
— Jon Wilner has UW at No. 18.
— Intertesting stuff here from the LA Times examining finances in the Pac-12.
— Riley Nelson led BYU past Oregon State in Corvallis yesterday, a place the Huskies will visit next month.
— Finally, here’s Chip Kelly telling Oregon fans to “shut up” last night.