Husky Stadium has consistently been recognized for being one of the most beautiful environments in the nation while also being one of the most hostile. It’s one of only two FBS college football stadiums that is right next to a body of water – the other being Tennessee, which is on a relatively small river with no view of it from the stadium – allowing the trademark ‘sailgating’ experience that comes unique to UW.
Husky Stadium has had the loudest crowd roar in a college football stadium – 133.6 decibels – according to ESPN from Washington’s first night game at Husky Stadium against No. 12 Nebraska in 1992.
In the past, the home of the Dawgs has been known as one of the best stadiums in the nation. This year, with the new renovation and the Huskies having the most talented team since the early 2000s, Husky Stadium could be known as the best stadium in the nation.
It’s no secret that the Huskies have played better at home than on the road. Maybe it’s because Seattle is far away from most opponents, or maybe it’s because the team hasn’t been mature enough to win road games, but maybe it’s because Husky Stadium is just that much of an advantage.
The first three years of the Steve Sarkisian era, the Huskies were 13-6 at home and just 6-13 away from Husky Stadium. This year, they played Boise State in which they were barely favored and won, 38-6. On the road at Illinois, the Huskies weren’t nearly as dominant, despite playing a similarly talented team.
The new Husky Stadium is louder and looks like an absolute jewel; this will give the Dawgs even more of an advantage than the old Husky Stadium. Although, even with all these features, Husky Stadium won’t be known as top in the nation until the Huskies become relevant again on the national scale. Would Autzen Stadium be viewed as elite if the Ducks usually won 6-8 games a year? The answer is no. However, I know how Husky Stadium could be recognized nationally as the best stadium in college football.
Let’s say Washington beats Arizona this week, and moves up to 13th or 14th in the nation. Then, the Huskies head on the road to play No. 5 Stanford. The Huskies match up fairly well with Stanford, which gave them the edge last year. If the Dawgs can pull off a road upset against the Cardinal, which is very possible, College Gameday will likely come to Seattle to see the Huskies take on the Ducks. The Huskies, at this point, will be in the top-10, and the Ducks should still be ranked second.
If this all happens, and the Huskies at least put a major scare into the Ducks, people will have seen Husky Stadium on a national scale and recognized how hostile and yet beautiful the stadium is. This is the formula for how Husky Stadium can be recognized nationally.
The Huskies need to win pretty much all their games at home, except maybe against the Ducks, and they need to win enough games on the road to be nationally relevant. If they do that, the visitor section is going to have to be expanded, because everyone will want to experience the amazement of the Dawgs’ new home.