2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 5 Washington Huskies
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Washington Huskies
No. 5: Washington Huskies
Washington Huskies Prespring Status
Washington won the Pac-12 championship and got into the College Football Playoff. That’s all that matters. The loss to Alabama might have been ugly, and just about everyone thought USC was the best team in the Pac-12 at the end of the year – helped by the Trojans’ 26-13 win in Seattle – but who cares? Washington got just about everything it could’ve hoped for after hiring Chris Petersen, but best of all, this might only be the beginning.
The passing game was among the nation’s most efficient, and the defense allowed a mere 317 yards and 17.7 points per game, and it could all happen again.
Six starters are back on the terrific defense – and Petersen proved he could reload in a hurry when needed – while QB Jake Browning returns to lead an improving offense that welcomes back seven starters. But about that filling the holes thing …
Washington Huskies Biggest Issue
The secondary might need a little time. Losing DT Elijah Qualls a year early off the defensive line stings, but five starters are back on the front seven – it’ll be a rock again. However, S Budda Baker and CB Sidney Jones were two of the nation’s best defensive backs, and they’re bolting early. With CB Kevin King gone off the other side of Jones, the dominant secondary might need all spring to come up with the right combination.
Washington Huskies Biggest Positive
The offense will be even better. Leading receiver and devastating deep threat John Ross is gone, but Dante Pettis and Chico McClatcher are back – Pettis came up with 15 scores – along with ten of the other top 14 pass catchers. Myles Gaskin and the top four ground gainers from last year are back, too, along with Browning, who bombed away for 43 touchdown passes and just nine picks. With four starters back up front, Browning will get all the time he needs.
Really, Why Are The Washington Huskies Ranked Here?
Don’t just go handing the Pac-12 title to USC just yet. Oregon and Stanford will be stronger in the North, and it won’t be so easy to fatten up on a slew of mediocre teams like the Huskies did last season, but the team really and truly could be even better this time around.
If the secondary is close to as strong as it was last year, and if Browning is Browning again, there could be a repeat trip to the post-season.