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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

May 18, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Friday links — SEC/Big 12 align, Schlabach rates UW No. 21, early Pac-12 power rankings, and more

A little late getting to it today — hey, it’s Friday.

And the big news in college football today is already almost old news in the new Twitter-fied media world we live in — an agreement between the Big 12 and the SEC to play annually in a bowl game.

As this story notes, the agreement is as much about the SEC and Big 12 aligning for political purposes, to allow them to rival the longtime Pac-12-Big Ten alliance, as it may be about a football game.

And as a few others have pointed out on Twitter, this also seems to create a clear wall between those four conferences and everyone else in college football — not that it maybe wasn’t already there, but now it’s more obvious than ever. What it also does is give a lot more security to a Big 12 that a year or so ago seemed pretty tenuous — and maybe for now put an end to thoughts of a further expansion of the Pac-12 that would include the likes of Texas and Oklahoma.

IN OTHER NEWS. …

— ESPN’s Mark Schlabach rates UW No. 21 today in his latest “way too early” pre-season Top 25.

Schlabach writes of UW:

“About the only defense that looked worse than Washington’s during bowl season was Clemson’s. The Huskies were ripped for 777 yards, including 482 rushing, in a 67-56 loss to Baylor in the Valero Alamo Bowl. As a result, Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian revamped his coaching staff, bringing in five new assistants, including former Boise State and Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. The Huskies bring back quarterback Keith Price, who threw for 3,063 yards and 33 touchdowns last season. But they’ll have to replace tailback Chris Polk, who ran for 1,488 yards and 12 touchdowns. Perhaps no team faces a more difficult start to the season; UW plays LSU (road), Stanford (home), Oregon (road) and USC (home) in its first six games.”

He also has LSU No. 1, USC No. 2, Oregon No. 4 and Stanford No. 12 — all teams UW will play in the first six weeks of the season.

— The ESPN Pac-12 blog has UW fifth in its post-spring power rankings, behind USC, Oregon, Stanford and Utah — exactly how yours truly has them ranked at the moment, as well. In fact, I really can’t argue with much of any of it other than that I have the two Arizona schools ahead of Oregon State at the moment (so the Beavers at 11). Otherwise, I’m pretty much in agreement with them on this.

Ted Miller also writes that the UW-Stanford game is one he really can’t wait for, for many of the same reasons we discussed here the other day.

— Orange County Register picks UW third in the Pac-12 and No. 2 in the North.

— Good stuff from George Schroeder of the Eugene Register-Guard, who looks behind the numbers from that USA Today story earlier this week and reports that they aren’t really what they seem.

— Finally, here’s a link to the audio to the interview with UW coach Steve Sarkisian on ESPN 710 Seattle yesterday (sorry, I haven’t gotten around to transcribing this one yet).

More audio at MyNorthwest.com

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