ESPN reports Pac-12 needs strong USC and Washington Football for good of conference

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 12: Wide receiver John Ross
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 12: Wide receiver John Ross /

Heading into 2017, the Washington Football team has found few allies among pundits. But ESPN asserts that the Pac-12 needs USC and UW to succeed for good of the conference

Washington Football is getting it right folks. Even now, the team is building  solid good depth, good coaching and players whose desires to succeed eclipses even their magnanimous skillsets.  But despite the success of last season, and the return of so many proficient athletes, pundits have not fallen into line backing the Huskies to repeat as Pac-12 champions.

In some circles, prognosticators have the Huskies struggling to return to the Pac-12 champion game.

But a surprising ally has surfaced from the ranks of ESPN.  Yes, the same network which projects USC as the team to beat in the Pac-12 conference.

Good competition means good ratings, sometimes

Let’s face it.  It’s tough to get emotionally invested into a football game if you think it will be a blowout.  But the folks at ESPN, who are heavily invested in the ratings of all NCAA sports, have a differing perspective. In their minds, the Pac-12 is suffering a drought of NCAA football championships, and the only solution is to propel the two top teams: USC and UW.

Follow Fisher

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg tosses that curious perspective out there.  In his view, the recent boast of Florida State’s coach Jimbo Fisher declaring the ACC as the nation’s best football conference is the way to go for the Pac-12.

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  • In Rittenberg’s piece, he cites the fact that the ACC has both Clemson and Florida State challenging for the national title any given year.  Other conferences? Not so much. He sees potential in the Pac-12 to follow the ACC mold with UW and USC.

    On one hand, he correctly points out the Pac-12 has a streak of a 12 year absence from the national title. As a matter of fact, it’s the longest absence in the nation among the top NCAA conferences.  On the other hand, he then takes the path of every national pundit and touts the unfair advantages of USC to the nation and to the Pac-12. Unfortunately, that advantage stops at National Signing Day.

    Right fit over top athlete

    We have debated the USC football model in the past. While it works to attract optimism at the 30,000 feet analysis, players who are highly regarded going into the USC program emerge stunted in their development. In the end, it’s the difference between celebrity stage versus football field.

    While USC is certainly a very good college football team, and will likely compete this year, the true hope for an NCAA title rest upon the Washington Huskies.  This team has already begun to build to win a championship. In fact, the steps to beating Alabama are nearly part of the Washington Football team training dogma right now.

    Perhaps UW is the key

    It’s that deliberate planning of recruits, scouting for specific needs on this team, which places the Huskies ahead of other Pac-12 teams in the race to the top. But this is also the team that is ahead of its own schedule. Will that hold up over the course of this season? Can the Washington Football team enter the Pac-12 Championship game undefeated?

    In the end, the Washington Football team has a solid core returning from last year, plus the infusion of new talents from the ranks of the 2017 recruiting class.  In the end, don’t discount the Washington Football team.   Jake Browning returns, and he is one of the nation’s best quarterbacks.

    All eyes on USC QB Darnold

    With all eyes focused on USC returning rookie Sam Darnold, the Pac-12 premier passer is under the radar once more.

    How do you win an NCAA championship?

    Next: Washington Football returns to preseason training camp July 31

    By getting there.  After you get there, the coaches must have the right talent and game plan to win. Right now, the Washington Football team offers the strongest case for that challenge to the national title.

    And from I read, that’s good news for the Pac-12 conference.