Huskies Insider Blog

Washington Huskies at No. 8? Fine. But lower than Houston? That is where I draw the line

Houston finished third in the American Athletic Conference West last season. Its coach left after the season and its quarterback graduated, yet one AP voter had the Cougars higher than Washington on his ballot.
Houston finished third in the American Athletic Conference West last season. Its coach left after the season and its quarterback graduated, yet one AP voter had the Cougars higher than Washington on his ballot. AP

I am a reasonable man.

More importantly, I’d like to think I’m a rational thinker.

The Associated Press released its preseason top-25 college football poll Monday morning, with the reigning College Football Playoff semifinalist Washington Huskies coming in at No. 8.

Understandable? Sure. No qualms.

Just for the record, of the 61 media voters, 21 of them had the UW inside the top six on his or her ballot. Adam Jude, the Husky football beat writer for the Seattle Times, gave the team its highest ranking — No. 3.

Two voters had the Huskies just outside the top 10 — Scott Wolf, of the Los Angeles Daily News (No. 11) and Robert Cessna, of the Bryan-College Station Eagle (No. 11).

That caught my eye, but didn’t stunt my train of thought.

But this one — ONE — is just flat-out absurd.

Pat Dooley, a columnist/radio show host from the Gainseville Sun, is back as an AP voter after some years off. He noted in his introduction that he takes voting for these sorts of things very, very seriously.

Where did Dooley have the UW?

No. 16.

His explanation? “You may think this is a little low, but I think it is different to be the hunted, especially with a brand new secondary,” he wrote.

Hey, we all have our biases, especially territorially. Dooley hails from Southeastern Conference country. He had four SEC schools ahead of the reigning Pac-12 champion (oddly enough, Alabama wasn’t No. 1 on his ballot).

He also had both home-state powerhouses, Florida State and Florida, ahead of the UW.

But right ahead of the Huskies on his ballot at No. 15 is Houston, which finished third in the American Athletic Conference West last season.

Yes, the Cougars had big wins over Oklahoma and Louisville. But they also lost to Navy, SMU, Memphis and San Diego State.

Their coach left (Tom Herman). Their quarterback is gone (Greg Ward, Jr.). And somehow, Houston is still a more attractive pick over the Huskies with a returning quarterback (Jake Browning) and an established coach (Chris Petersen)?

My point isn’t to pick on Houston. My point is there is no reasonable explanation why 15 other schools were put in front of the Huskies.

I’ve told people who ask me all the time — what do I think of this year’s UW squad? The best thing is can say is that I had no pre-conceived notions about the Huskies, good or bad, after being away from the UW beat for the past six years.

What I do know is that the team I’ve watched the past three weeks or so should be very good.

Maybe not No. 1 good, at least not yet. But certainly not outside the top 10.

Related stories from Tacoma News Tribune

  Comments