It’s an obvious point, but one worth considering anew now that it’s here — after today, Washington’s regular season is halfway done.
And that also means the rugged first-half schedule — of which college football writers such as myself spent a lot of time in the off-season calling maybe the toughest for any team in the country — will be over.
It’s another obvious point of how this game will color how that first half of the season is portrayed — at 4-2, despite how uneven the Huskies have played at times, it would have to be regarded as an unqualified success. Even 3-3 would hardly be a disappointment considering the Huskies have been underdogs in four of the games.
But especially depending on how today unfolds, a 3-3 mark will cause a lot more trepidation about the rest of the season. The trip to Arizona next week will hardly be easy with the Wildcats featuring an explosive offense and coming off a bye. Then comes a home game with a revived Oregon State team that might have quarterback Sean Mannion back by then, but will be dangerous regardless.
A win against USC gives the Huskies a heck of a lot more wiggle room heading into that second half, though I think for today it would be simply beating the Trojans again that would be the biggest victory.
As I wrote in my preview story for today’s paper (and also touched on earlier on the blog) this will be the last time the two teams will play until at least 2015.
The Huskies, undoubtedly, want to have a good lasting memory.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— In a programming note, I will be helping fill-in on the pre-game radio show on KJR-AM and the Husky Football Network today with Dave “Softy” Mahler and Dick Baird. But we’ll still have a pre-game chat on here around 2:30 or so, with Percy Allen filling in.
— Here’s the flip card for today’s game, with rosters and other info on both teams.
— Bud Withers reports there was no movement this week at the Pac-12 meetings for instituting standardized injury reports throughout the conference.
— CBSSports.com expert Rob Rang includes Desmond Trufant on his list of players he is eager to watch this weekend.
— This is an ESPN Insider piece, but UW fans would like this USC perspective on the history with the Huskies.
— The LA Times reviews the top matchups and storylines.
— The LA Daily News focuses on Matt Barkley finally being able to play in Seattle. (And remembering that Steve Sarkisian helped recruit Barkley to USC, it was funny seeing Barkley Tweet yesterday to BarkforBark.)
— In the probably bad karma for UW department, Jim Moore picks the Huskies to win by the same score I did.
— Here is the latest podcast from former Huskies Kyle Benn and Matt Rogers.
— Here’s a video preview from CBSSports.com.
— Rivals.com with five USC players to watch today.
— ESPN’s USC blog lists 10 things to watch.
— Here is Phil Steele’s mid-season All-Pac-12 Team. No Huskies on the first team, and surprisingly in my view, no Trufant anywhere.
— The Associated Press reports 82 people were ejected from Autzen Stadium during the UW-Oregon game. But in maybe a sign of how the rivalry isn’t what it used to be, that’s 47 fewer than got the boot during the Oregon-Arizona game.
— Cal is playing Washington State in Pullman today and Withers picks the Cougars.
— Utah is looking to rebound from its loss to USC today at the Rose Bowl against UCLA.
— Here’s the LA Times breakdown of that game.
— Predictions from the Salt Lake Tribune as well as lots of links around the conference.
— Here’s the complete Pac-12 schedule, time and TV situation for today’s games.
— Athlon’s takes Oregon State to cover a six-point spread at BYU as one of its picks of the week.
— SBNation has a rundown of the complete college schedule and where to find the games on TV.