Now Is NOT the Time to Panic Husky Fans

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For those wondering, the Husky Haul Power Rankings For Week 8 will post at 10:00am

OK, it wasn’t pretty in Palo Alto with the Huskies being blown out 65-21. While I thought a 30-point blowout was a distinct possibility (see my Weekly Picks) I certainly did not expect the Cardinal to drop 65 on the defense. While the offense under Steve Sarkisian continues to get better in what is still only halfway through his third year, there are serious questions that need to be asked of Nick Holt and his ability to lead this defense. There are simply too many 40+ point performances against his defense. And, Stanford proved it isn’t just the secondary that can be exploited.

That being said, the “let’s fire Holt” article will have to wait for another day. Husky fans need to have some perspective about where this team really is. They are 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-12. Before the season began, I predicted UW would finish the season 7-5 overall and 5-4 in the Pac-12. I was not alone in thinking 7-5 would be a decent result given the strength at the top of the Pac-12 with Stanford, Oregon, and USC on the schedule. At this stage, I thought they would be 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Pac-12. So, the Huskies are one game ahead of that prediction so far.

Think of it in this context. If UW beats 2-5 Arizona at home this week, they will be 6-2 after 8 games. It took them a full 12 games to get to six wins last year including final minute wins in their last two games of the year. One more win and they will definitely go bowling (since the Pac-12 probably won’t fill out its 7 designated spots). Looking ahead to UW’s schedule, there is a distinct possibility of them still going 9-3 or 8-4 on the season with winnable games against Oregon State and Washington State, plus the unpredictable game against USC.

Come on guys, if someone told you that the Huskies would go 8-4 before the season, wouldn’t you have been pleased with that? I know expectations were raised after beating Utah and Colorado and its been so long since the team was 5-1 that everyone was thinking that anything was possible. The Washington Huskies are still a project. This is a team still dominated by sophomores and redshirt freshmen. Steve Sarkisian is still learning how to be a head coach and his dozens of formations are a headache for opposing coaches to plan for.

Are the Huskies back to the top of the league ahead of Stanford and Oregon? No, of course not. Stanford scored 65 points because they wanted to send a message to that effect. But, this team is showing progress. A 7-5 season is still a success. An 8-4 record is terrific. A 9-3 record would be outstanding. So, don’t get ahead of ourselves. Let’s see how they come together and handle Arizona before we hit the panic button.