It’s just over a week until Washington Huskies football gets its 2023 college football season underway. With excitement brewing, fans and media are predicting scenarios for the 2023 season. Almost all media outlets have placed Washington rightfully in their pre-season top 10, given the performance of the team in the first season under the guidance of head coach Kalen DeBoer. However, with a tough schedule, what are the realistic best and worst-case records for the 2023 season?
Best and worst-case scenarios in 2023 for the Washington Huskies
Worst Case – 8-4 record
The worst case for the Washington Huskies is likely to be four losses. The hope is that the defense takes a step forward with the experience it gained from last season. The Huskies have a few high-powered offensive teams to play, including Oregon and USC who boast current Heisman-winning quarterback Caleb Williams.
The Huskies allowed 251.1 passing yards per game last season and ranked 121st in opponent third and fourth down conversions. These areas in particular need to be cleaned up as the 2023 schedule is much tougher than last season.
Washington’s run defense wasn’t too bad last season. However, this was maybe due to the secondary being able to be passed on quite easily. They had to make up for it somewhere. If they don’t improve overall, then they will struggle against high-powered offenses in 2023.
Looking at the schedule, Oregon, USC, and Utah are coin-flip games. Tier 2 of the games where Washington is favored against Oregon State, Michigan State, and Arizona is slightly over 60% favored.
A number of factors can change for the Huskies in 2023 and it could determine a different trajectory for the season. If it’s a downward one, four losses from the games above is not out of the question.
Best Case – 12-0 record
Yes, opposing fans will likely be laughing, however, this is a legitimate best-case scenario for Washington if everything clicks. As mentioned above, the schedule is difficult, but they went 10-2 last season with position groups who are looking to improve in 2023.
The offense can get better, which is crazy to say after last season’s numbers. That was even in a Kalen DeBoer first-season offense and Michael Penix Jr. in a new system with fresh targets and offensive line. Another offseason together is only going to benefit them as a unit. Even if it doesn’t improve, as long as there is no drop-off, then the offense will be playing at a good enough standard to put up enough points.
The defensive side of the ball is where improvement will be needed to go unbeaten. Allowing 25.8 points per game will not suffice, this will have to be lower. The secondary had freshmen thrown into a baptism of fire due to injuries last season. This was not ideal and the team was burnt at times on passing plays. If the secondary can become tighter I believe the defensive line and linebackers if healthy will do their bit too.