Good morning, sorry for not links post yesterday, but a few things came up, including some work on the preview section which will run on Wednesday.
Anyway, we'll get to a few things before I have to head up to Montlake for head coach Steve Sarkisian's Monday press conference.
Columnist John McGrath wrote this column for Sunday's newspaper. But I wanted to post it on here. With FCS national champion Eastern Washington coming to Husky Stadium on Saturday, McGrath took the occasion to write about the 2007 stunner when Appalachian State rolled into Ann Arbor and stunned then No. Michigan in the Big House.
From his column ...
I f Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian is looking for pep-talk fodder intended to prevent his team from regarding Eastern Washington as a gimme putt in the opener Saturday, I’ve got a short speech for him.
“Four years ago, guys, Appalachian State beat Michigan in The Big House.”
Sarkisian might have to elaborate a bit – to a college student, 2007 occurred sometime between the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution – but the premise of the point would stand: The Appalachian State Mountaineers traveled to Ann Arbor and won a 34-32 game that turned 109,000 stomachs inside Michigan Stadium and shocked millions of people outside of it.
If Sarkisian wants to really dwell on the fear factor, he could note that the Wolverines were ranked No. 5 in The Associated Press’ preseason poll.
There’s a climate of optimism around Montlake, where it’s reasonable to presume the Huskies can win seven or eight games and return to a bowl game. But nobody thinks of Washington as a Top 5 team – or, for that matter, a Top 25 team. Jon Wilner of the Mercury News rates the conferences schedules. He has UW with the sixth toughest.
6. Washington: As if playing Stanford and USC on the road weren’t a tough enough combination, the Huskies also pay a visit to Nebraska. (And the Sept. 10 home date with Hawaii could be tougher than it appears.) Looking at the sweep of the season, this much seems clear: Washington had better not waste any opportunities early, because the closing schedule is brutal with Oregon, USC (road) and Oregon State (road) back-to-back-to-back before the Apple Cup.Pac 12 North
Oregon: Ken Goe writes about the Ducks being 0-3 in marquee games like the one against LSU. The common denominator in them was the inability to get the running game going.
Oregon State: Here's OSU's depth chart. Freshman defensive end Dylan Wynn has been as good as expected. Cliff Kirkpatrick of the Corvallis Gazette Times predicts a bowl berth for the Beavs
Washington State: Vince Grippi has an analytical look at the Cougs
Pac 12 South
Arizona: Defensive end C.J. Parish received a fifth-year of eligibility and wants to make the most of it.
UCLA: It's win or else for Rick Neuheisel and the Bruins. Although I saw Kirk Herbstreit picked them to play in the Pac-12 title game.