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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 5, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Monday night poll — Did you like the first year of the Pac-12; and a few links

The intrigue over where and when Washington would go bowling made it easy to forget a milestone passed last weekend — the ending of the first football season of the expanded Pac-12 Conference.

It didn’t escape the notice of’s Ted Miller, however, and he wrote this interesting overview today of the first season of Pac-12 play.

His prevailing thought is that it all seemed to go well enough.

As Miller notes, for the most part it comes down to what you think of the changes in the schedule.

For Washington, that meant missing UCLA and Arizona State and instead playing Colorado and Utah.

If you assume that had expansion not happened and the schedule would have stayed on the regular rotation from the 2010 season, then UW would have played at both ASU and UCLA while hosting USC.

Instead, UW played at Utah and USC (the Huskies had to play the Trojans on the road two straight years to make the new schedule work) and hosted Colorado.

Throw out the USC aspect of it, and the switch for UW was essentially playing at Utah and hosting Colorado instead of hosting one of ASU and UCLA and playing at the other. UW beat Utah and Colorado handily, maybe playing its two best games of the year against those teams.

UCLA and ASU, meanwhile, were each so erratic that when and where UW played them would well have determined how the Huskies would have done against those two. But obviously, the Huskies could have beaten each, so how the change impacted UW’s won-loss record could be viewed largely as a wash (obviously, beating either of ASU or UCLA would probably have been harder than Colorado, but in general, the switch of the one set of teams for the other wasn’t season changing).

So from a fan’s standpoint, how you viewed the new conference may be mostly about if it mattered to you at all playing Utah and Colorado instead of UCLA and Arizona State — and whether the split into divisions changed how you followed any of it.

Fans who travel regularly this year got a trip to Utah instead of one to Arizona — probably not a big deal. Next year could feel like a bigger deal when the Huskies won’t play a game in Los Angeles (the Huskies will host USC and again skip UCLA with the schedule just being the reverse of this year’s) and will instead travel to Colorado (though again returning to Arizona with a trip to Tucson on tap).

I’m kind of a traditionalist, and I think I would rather have covered games this year against ASU and UCLA — and their obvious compelling coaching stories, each of whom had local ties. But change is a constant in college sports, and as fans/media we’re all just kind of along for the ride, anyway. As Miller notes, the big negative — the odd pairing in the Pac-12 title game — won’t be an issue going forward. Having a full Pac-12 next year should ease the adjustment that much more.

Still, I figured I’d throw it out there to the readers of the blog with the following poll on what you thought about the first year of the Pac-12. After the poll are a few links.. …

What did you think of the first year of the Pac-12?


— As I noted earlier today, UW could be facing a Heisman Trophy winner in the Alamo Bowl. That came closer to becoming reality this afternoon when Robert Griffin III was named as one of five finalists for the award.

— I was a guest on the Kevin Calabro show today, talking about UW and a little other stuff. Listen here.

— I was also a guest on KPUG today talking about the bowl game and some other stuff, and you can listen to that here.

— According to, UW is one of the first schools with an offer out to quarterback Troy Williams of Narbonne High, a Class of 2013 recruit. Narbonne has sent a number of players to the Pac-12 and beyond, including current safety Sean Parker.

— reports, meanwhile, that UW has a “soft” commit from a running back for the Class of 2013, Aaron Baltazar of Chula Vista, Calif.

— USC QB Matt Barkley says he has not yet made a decision about entering the NFL.

— Hawaii coach Greg McMackin “retired” today. Hawaii won 10 games last year, but finished 6-7 this season including a 40-32 loss at Husky Stadium in September. So Hawaii will have a new coach when UW goes back there in 2013.

— A New Jersey newspaper says the Big East is close to adding Boise State and San Diego State, among others. UW is set to host San Diego State next season — so who says the Huskies can never get a team from back east to play in Seattle?

— with an exhaustive preview of the bowl season.



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