1. WASHINGTON WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN
Washington has been very, very good over the last three years under Chris Petersen.
The program went from being mired in mediocrity to among the nation’s elite, winning 32 games and two Pac-12 championship during the run.
But there’s been something missing.
Maybe it’s going 0-3 in the three giant bowl games. Maybe it’s because the best non-conference win came against Fresno State in 2017. Maybe it’s because the Pac-12 has been down, and winning the league just isn’t all that big a whoop.
So why are the Huskies going to be appreciably better without nine starters from last year’s amazing defense, new starters in the offensive backfield, and with the Pac-12 potentially a whole lot better than it’s been in years?
Over the last three seasons, Petersen has only lost one home game, and that’s where all the nasty games are this year. Even so …
Set The Regular Season Win Total At … 9
The schedule isn’t all that bad.
There isn’t an Auburn on the slate like the Huskies started out playing last season. The non-conference schedule of Eastern Washington, Hawaii and at BYU should be a walk in the park for any program good enough to even think about going to the College Football Playoff.
Cal is nasty – at least defensively – but that’s a home game, as is the date with USC. It’ll be an interesting first part of the season before October hits, and then it’s Game On.
Washington will be good enough to win at Stanford and Arizona, and it’ll be strong enough to come up with home victories over Oregon, Utah and Washington State. It’s just not going to be amazing enough to win all of them, and it’ll drop at least two of those five games that kick in after September.
Watch out for a miss against a team like Colorado on the road or against USC or Cal at home, and BYU might not be quite as easy as it seems.
The offense will open it up a bit more, the defense will be just fine, and the special teams will be solid.
That still won’t be enough to hit the double-digit win mark in the regular season, but it’ll still be a strong year with a shot in the bowl of making it 10+ wins for the fourth campaign in a row.