Since the Huskies appear to be adhering pretty well these days to the commands of their coaches, the celebrating of Colorado is over and the work on Stanford has begun.
With a fairly impressive — if not exactly notebook-filling — consistency, basically every player yesterday mentioned the team’s “24-hour rule” for enjoying a win and then forgetting about it and moving on to the task at hand, which is this Saturday’s game at Stanford.
I kind of figured, though, that they probably only needed a “24-minute” rule for the Colorado game, a contest that other than the offensive showing in the first half doesn’t figure to be remembered long. The Stanford game, meanwhile, sets up as the biggest the Huskies have played in a long time. It could be argued the Apple Cup last year was pretty big ince it had such a tangible reward — win and go to the Holiday Bowl. And the Holiday Bowl itself was obviously sizeable, as well.
But for a regular-season game that in which the Huskies can make a real lasting statement nationally, this may be as big as any UW has played since the early 2000s. The last time UW was ranked and also played a ranked team was the first game of the 2003 season at Ohio State, when the Huskies were 17th and played a No. 2-ranked Buckeye team that had won the national title the year before.
That game, though, had a weird atmosphere — the Huskies were coming off the rocky summer that included the firing of Rick Neuheisel while all anybody cared about in Columbus was the Maurice Clarett saga (though despite all that, and a blah 28-9 Ohio State win, the game landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated).
This game, though, has a clean, clear storyline — a battle to stay undefeated in the Pac-12 North (each team hosts Oregon in the next few weeks) and for UW, a chance to return, with no asterisks attached, to college football relevance. Should be a fun week.
On with some links. …
— A reminder that I’ll again be on the Husky Roundtable on KJR-AM Monday morning at 8:20 a.m. with Mitch Levy and former Huskies Chuck Nelson and Hugh Millen.
— Here’s my story for the Monday paper, wrapping up the news about the rating as well as looking ahead to the game against Stanford.
— Bud Withers wraps up the weekend in the Pac-12 and says UW’s offense may be something special.
— The Huskies are also 25th in the BCS Standings.
— Here’s UW’s NCAA stats page, showing the Huskies are fifth in passing efficiency and 17th in rushing defense, but also 116th in passing defense.
— Some Stanford news and notes, including some injury updates, from ESPN.com.
— It was officially announced today that ESPN’s Gameday is headed this weekend to Michigan State.
— Lakes High athlete Cedric Dozier, who was also considering UW, has committed to Cal, according to ESPN and a few other sources. He’s slated to play receiver there.
All for now.