On the Huskies being ranked

I'll be the first to admit that I thought Washington had as near to a zero chance of beating USC as there was. With all the talking heads predicting such a close game, I just didn't see it -- I really thought the Trojans were about the worst possible matchup for the Huskies: Power running game to blow away UW's defenders, ridiculous team speed on defense to limit UW's smallish but fast offensive players.

To some extent, I was right -- USC did have 250 yards on the ground and the Huskies had 230 yards total before that final drive.

But, I most certainly was wrong about Washington being able to stay close. I really thought a blowout was in the offing, but what I couldn't have possibly predicted was that Aaron Corp would be that bad, and that the Huskies would be able to force three turnovers without giving the ball away themselves. When a team is as one-dimensional as the Trojans were -- I think it has as much to do with USC clearly having no confidence in Corp as it did with anything UW was doing against the pass -- it's a lot easier to stop them (assuming you have the athletes to do so, which Washington clearly does).

As they say, that's why the play the game. Washington earned that win, and deserves almost all the accolades they're receiving right now.

Except one.

 

No way on earth should they be ranked right now.

Here's what that ranking is based on: A closer-than expected loss to LSU (which traveled 3,000 miles with an inexperienced squad, and only looked that close because of a late touchdown), a blowout win over Idaho (who doesn't blowout the Vandals? They're 0-9 and have been outscored 388-120 in the last five years against BCS competition), and a last-second upset over USC (without their starting quarterback and with three turnovers).

All at home.

That's not to minimize their accomplishment. I would kill to be in their spot right now. But I think calling them one of the 25 best teams in the country is gross over exaggeration at this point -- either that, or the teams floating around 25 are all so mediocre that Washington is as good a pick as any.

But even that doesn't hold water. For hilarity, check this out at pollspeak. No fewer than 10 -- 10! -- writers voted the Huskies in their top 15. Guess how many of them had the Huskies ranked in their top 25 after week three? The win over USC convinced this guy that the Huskies, not one of his top 25 teams the week before, are the 10th best team in the country. (I'm guessing he didn't see anything but the highlights and final score, since he was a little preoccupied with Florida/Tennessee, being contested at the same time.)

Insanity.

I understand the argument for putting them in the 20-25 range, but I'm just not ready to give them even that honor until they show me they can go on the road and beat someone. If they beat Stanford this weekend, I'll be convinced. But they've got to show me something away from a rocking Husky Stadium to feel like they're truly one of the top 25 teams in the country.

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