We’ve had more posts in the last day than we have in the last month! This post got up a little late, but we promise that we wrote this before today’s game. If we hadn’t these posts might not seem so optimistic. More from the game later tonight or tomorrow. Anyway, here are the Good Guys’ Husky season predictions:
It all comes down to the schedule. The Huskies have a tough road ahead, especially after the realignment to twelve teams. Playing in the P12 north means Stanford and Oregon will be on the schedule. Utah, on the other hand, doesn’t play either one. So right off the bat teams in the P12 north are at a scheduling disadvantage for 2011, the UW included. With road games at Stanford, USC, Utah, Nebraska and Oregon State, the path away from Husky Stadium will be tough. I see no real shot to beat Stanford or Nebraska on the road. Utah, USC and Oregon State are all winnable games, but the Dawgs will only get 2 of them. My road record prediction? 2-3.
At home is a different story. Eastern, Hawaii, Cal, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon and Wazzu. I can honestly see them going 6-1 at home. All of the games except Oregon are very winnable, in fact I expect them to win all of them except Oregon. Don’t get wrong, I do think they can win the Oregon game. It’s a classic trap game for the Ducks, the week before the smackdown with Stanford (and the weeks prior to UW they get Colorado and Wazzu, two games that could be blow outs, softening the Ducks senses a bit). So I am really hanging my hopes of beating Oregon on two things: The Ducks look past the Dawgs, and it’s the last game at the old lady, Husky Stadium, before the remodel. Both those intangibles help the Dawgs tremendously. The only thing the Ducks have going in that game, assuming they are undefeated, is to slide by and get to Stanford with no losses. It’s about freaking time the Dawgs beat the Ducks, I’m sick and tired of losing to the Univ of Nike. My heart says Dawgs win, my head says Ducks win. For the sake of my season preview, I’m going 6-1 home record.
In the end, the Huskies will be 8-4. I know that sounds very “kool-aidish”, but just look at that home schedule and tell me how they don’t go at least 5-2. The key is the road, they must get 2 wins this season away from Seattle if they have any dreams of another bowl appearance.
The 2011 Huskies have the most talent of any Washington team in the past 10 years. Pair this fact with a momentous end to last season, and another solid recruiting class, and expectations are high at Montlake. Not championship high, but close. The Huskies won 4 games last year by a touchdown or less, but their average margin of loss was 26.5 points. Given this, achieving 7 wins was a minor miracle last year. I doubt we see as many blowout losses, and I’d be surprised if the Huskies weren’t better, at least to the eye this year. Whether this improvement equates to a better win-loss record, we will have to wait and see. Looking at the schedule, 6.5 seems to be a fair line for wins. Most fans will probably say 7 or 8 wins, but I tend to think 6 is more likely, especially given the top to bottom strength of the conference. I think the Huskies are still 1 year away from championship contention, kind of like every other local team!
Last time we saw the Dawgs they were celebrating in San Diego. It seemed like Husky football was back. The strong defense, power rushing team from the early 90’s showed up in late November and December and gave Husky fans reason to dream. I think it’s clear that this program is on it’s way back and the 4 game winning streak to end last year proved that. With that being said, this year is crucial for the program. The Huskies lost their star quarterback and best player on defense. It’s time for Sark to prove that his recruiting will make UW take another step forward.
I believe there will be some bumps along the road this year. A new QB and a relatively young team will prove that. But, I also believe that this team is the most talented team we’ve seen in Seattle since the wildly inconsistent 2002 team. Are we going to be playing for a championship at the end of the season? Probably not. But, anything less than 6 wins and a bowl game would be a disappointment.
I don’t remember much from the early ’90’s since I was roughly 1, 2 or 3 years old during the Huskies best run. I’ve read, heard, and learned about those teams and how nasty they were. How they’d run the ball down opponents throats and suffocate teams with the purple-reign defense. I’ve never seen much of that football at Husky Stadium. This year, they’ll take another step to becoming that team and it will be a special year. It seems fitting that this style of play will be back for the final year before the renovation. I’m looking forward to the memories, because I think this year will bring a few of them. No, we aren’t all the way back but we’re getting there. The Dawgs scratch and claw their way to an 8-4 record (6 wins at home and 2 on the road) and Seattle will start dreaming about 2012 Pac-12 championships once the season is over.
I touched on my general thoughts about the season the other day, but I’m going to look positively at this season. I’m tired of saying, the Huskies should be good, but I can’t quite bet on them to do it yet. That might still be true, but I’m going to expect big things anyway. Or slightly bigger things, anyway. I’m saying an 8-5 season. I can see them winning 7 or 8 in the regular season. If they win 7, they should have a very winnable bowl game. If they win 8, I’m not so sure about the bowl game, so 8-5 seems like a good guess.That said, I could see them edging their way to 9 or even 10 wins. To do that, they’ll likely have to beat one of the big three (Oregon, Stanford, Nebraska), and they’ll probably need a few of the Pac-12 teams on the edge to really fall apart. I’m looking at you, UCLA, Cal, Arizona and OSU. Let’s make it happen!
Individually, I think Alameda Ta’amu will be considered one of the three best defensive players in the league by the end. I expect Sean Parker to join the ranks of great Husky safeties. Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins will have the most impact of any offensive true freshmen since Reggie Williams. And that’s all I’ll write for now, because we’re on our way out the door for the game!