In what is sort of a typical thing for those who cover college football this time of year, I’m working on a story for the paper reviewing UW’s first six games of 2012. That will appear at some point later in the week.
But before I dot the last I and cross the last T, I also thought I’d assess the thoughts of the readers of this blog.
Simply put, what is your feeling about the first half of the season? Success? Failure? Exactly what you thought?
In some says, just about any of those could reasonably be argued.
At 3-3, UW actually has a better record than predicted just going by the Vegas odds — recall that the Huskies were underdogs against Stanford as well as in the three games they lost. That the Huskies finally beat Stanford is obviously the highlight of the first half and one of the best reasons for hope in the second — without that win, the perception would be that UW would face a real challenge just to get to six wins and a bowl game.
Simply being able to stand toe-to-toe with Stanford was a victory in itself, however, along with the tangible benefits of what the win now means, which is that UW just has to get three more the rest of the way to assure a bowl game and four to match last year’s victory total.
And given the overall youth of the roster (four/five seniors listed as starters for Saturday’s game at Arizona, depending on the alignment), maybe you think being able to finally solve the Stanford hex is enough to consider the first half of the season a sign that progress continues.
Conversely, some might have thought that the Huskies would be able to be more consistently competitive against the elite teams on its schedule. No doubt, the slate has been tough, On the other hand, Oregon and Stanford are the teams UW has to beat just to get out of the Pac-12 North, and USC is historically the team to beat to get to the Rose Bowl. Was the totality of what you saw in those games enough to think the gap is being narrowed?
Maybe UW is exactly where you thought they’d be. Given that the Stanford game was at home and against a team rebuilding in some key areas (namely, quarterback) a lot of people liked that as a game the Huskies could win. Few really thought UW was going to win any of the three games it lost. Maybe, though, you think the expectations should have been higher in the first place.
No doubt, the true story of this season has yet to really be written — which in itself is a byproduct of the 3-3 start. If UW had won another game or two, this season would already loom as heading toward being an unqualified success. Another loss or two, and it would already be trending the other way.
At 3-3, though, the ultimate read on this season remains almost completely unsettled. UW might be an underdog in its next three games — it remains about a touchdown underdog at Arizona, likely will be an underdog against an Oregon State that seems pretty sure to be undefeated when it comes here next week, and will probably be at least a point or two underdog at Cal. So there’s no guarantees UW wins four or five the rest of the way to at least match last year’s record, if not better it.
But that story is yet to be written. What we do know tonight is what UW has done so far..
So go ahead and tell me what you think of what you’ve seen of the Huskies to date: