Some of you may remember that about a year ago at this time I wrote a column for the paper and a blog post here asking which was more likely to make postseason play: the 2008 UW football team or the 2008-09 basketball team.
It seemed a reasonable question at the time, although it looks pretty dumb now as the football team was worse than anyone could have expected (I recall no predictions of an 0-12 season) and the basketball team was better than anyone could have expected (I recall no predictions of a Pac-10 title).
So, fully aware of how wrong expections can be this far in advance, what are your expectations for the coming football and next basketball seasons?
I plan to write about that in the Monday paper -- in advance of football spring drills, which begin Tuesday. And since expectations are built on conventional wisdom, I'd really like to hear what you guys are thinking.
Here are my early thoughts:
The Huskies losing streak stretches to 15 games in the opener against LSU and then ends the next week against Idaho. A few more wins follow, although not likely enough for bowl eligibility. However, the team plays with more passion. The offense surprises occasionally. The defense hits hard always. Jake Locker improves more in one season than he did in the previous two. Younger players seem to develop. The team is playing better in November than it did in September. Husky fans finally see real light at the end of the tunnel. And when I ask about expectations again at this time next year, everyone says they expect a bowl bid -- and maybe a good one.
Jon Brockman and Justin Dentmon will be missed. But this team is far more prepared to shoulder their departures than the previous team was to endure the loss of Brandon Roy. Another Pac-10 title is unlikely, as California and USC return the heart of their NCAA-tournament rosters, and UCLA remains UCLA. But if Quincy Pondexter fulfills his promise as a star in the making, if the younger players progress, and if the freshman class lives up to its reputation, the Huskies shouldn't have to sweat out Selection Sunday, and they could make an even longer run in the tournament.