Running the Gauntlet
The Washington Huskies football team has seen a major overhaul in the last six months since they faced Baylor in the Alamo Bowl.
Between the new defensive coaching staff and the stellar recruits scored by Head Coach Steve Sarkisian, Tosh Lupoi and Justin Wilcox, the Dawgs are looking to improve on their 2011 campaign.
That goal got a lot more difficult though, when the schedules were announced for the upcoming 2012 season.
In their first six games this season, the Huskies will be facing four teams likely ranked in the nation’s top 10. Three of those four teams blew out the Dawgs last season by a combined score of 139-55.
The other team was in the BCS Championship game last season.
The team starts the year September 1st (7:30 PM) at home against San Diego State. They were semi-formidable last season, but lost their star RB Ronnie Hillman to the NFL.
Game 2 brings possibly the biggest challenge of the season, heading to the Bayou to take on LSU on September 8th. Remember, this is the LSU team who faced Alabama in the National Championship last season.
Portland State comes to town for game 3 (1 pm) on September 15th. C’mon.
Then the Pac-12 test begins and begins the hardest way possible.
Let’s take a look at the gauntlet UW are facing.
Game 4 brings Stanford to Seattle on September 27th (Thursday game – 6:30 PM) to open Pac-12 play.
While it may seem that the Stanford big 3 left for the NFL last year, (Andrew Luck, David DeCastro, Jonathan Martin) the team was able to re-load and will be able to showcase their next in line for the positions.
Key losses or not, Stanford will be tough and will most likely be nationally regarded still.
The Huskies then travel to Eugene to take on the Pondsquatters (Ducks) on October 6th for their 5th game of the season. While the Ducks may be at home and already have big heads about their upcoming season, the Huskies will be looking to march in and take a bite out of those egos funded by Phil Knight.
Oregon thinks their only tough game all year is a late season grudge match with USC. The Dawgs will beg to differ.
To complete the brutal trifecta, Washington returns home to play USC in game 6 on October 13th. Matt Barkley and company are highly regarded and will be in the top 3 in the nation, if not #1 overall.
There is no doubt that this will be a very hard obstacle for the Huskies.
After the string of 3 power houses to start their Pac-12 play, the Huskies go on to play: @ Arizona on October 20th, vs. Oregon State on October 27th, @ California on November 2nd, vs. Utah on Novermber 10th, @ Colorado November 17th.
2012 Apple Cup
And lastly, @ Washington State November 23rd to humiliate the Cougs again…this time in their home.
The Huskies have a daunting task ahead of them in the first six weeks of the season.
If they can make it out alive with a respectable showing against LSU and the Pac-12′s big 3, they stand a chance to have a pretty decent year considering everything that has transpired.
The Washington Huskies may have the toughest schedule in the Pac-12, but that’s not going to derail the Dawgs at all.