Sept 27, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies running back Bishop Sankey (25) celebrates a 17-13 upset victory over the Stanford Cardinal at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Huskies Football: Hampering Expectations

Aug 31, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; The Washington Huskies enter the field during the opening ceremonies of the game between the Washington Huskies and the Boise State Broncos at Husky Stadium. Washington defeated Boise State 38-6. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

After winning what some were calling coach Steve Sarkisian’s most important game as a Husky in resounding fashion, the Huskies are getting national attention. Whether it be from being ranked in the top-25, being debated on national programming or receiving two votes in USA Today’s inaugural mock playoff projections.

Fans are excited after the big win over Boise State, too, and rightfully so. The Huskies dominated a nationally prominent program in every aspect of the game. This was far from an upset, however. While the Broncos were ranked No. 19 coming into the game, Washington was favored by as much as 4.5 points. But still, beating the spread by nearly 28 points is impressive in and of itself.

One thing professional Seattle sports teams have going for them is the natural cynicism of an average Seattle sports fan. When it looks like Justin Smoak is over the hump, the fan responds, “Well it’s still a small sample size, look at what he’s done for the past two years!”

Even in a season in which the Seahawks are Super Bowl favorites, I find myself looking for reasons not to believe. Will Russell Wilson have a sophomore slump? Can the secondary keep up its dominating performance?

There’s a different feeling of optimism in college athletics. Rarely do I hear people complaining how it’s going to be another losing season for Husky football, or how Lorenzo Romar can’t get his team past the Sweet 16. I consistently hear how things are going to turn around for the football program, or how the next big recruit can change the game for basketball.

That kind of optimism isn’t prevalent in Seattle. When it does appear, it’s usually far overblown. And that could be the case with this year’s Husky football team.

Don’t let one game affect your how you judge the entire season. If the Huskies had opened last season by beating Stanford and Oregon State, people would have been talking about the Huskies as national title contenders, rather than a 7-6 team that lost in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Don’t get me wrong, with Keith Price apparently back on track, and an ever-improving defense and offensive line, the Huskies can do big things this year. But those have been my expectations since day one. An impressive performance in Week 1 only solidifies my confidence in the team, just as a loss would have given me doubts.

No matter, it’s one week of football. A home game, at that. If the Coach Sark is going to lead this team to new heights, they’re going to have to win on the road. They’re going to have to defend the spread. They’re going to have to put up points on stingy defenses.

I’m not saying Boise State wasn’t a tough opponent, but the Huskies weren’t tested in any of those three key aspects to their season. Beat Arizona, play competitively at Stanford and don’t get embarrassed by Oregon. Most importantly, never let up. To contend for a Pac-12 title this season, the Huskies can’t get upset by a team like Utah, Washington State or Cal.

Show me this, and I’ll wear the rose-colored glasses. Don’t let one game affect how you view the season.

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