I wrote the Monday Morning Wash column yesterday morning, but when I clicked to publish it, well...it just disappeared. I suspect a lot of folks out there wish the posts they wrote during and after the game on Saturday did the same.
After a few days of reflection on Washington's loss to BYU, I came to the conclusion that I agree with Steve Sarkisian...this loss will not define the season.
Washington lost this game because of special teams mistakes keeping the offense bottled-up for most of the first half. The field position took Washington out of its game plan, but the Huskies still led the game at halftime and could they have scored at least once in the second half, they would have won the game.
I saw far more good than bad; this team will win more than they lose and compete for an upper division finish in the Pac 10. Husky fans must remember BYU isn't New Mexico, Hawaii, nor Kansas State. The Cougars are a top 25 caliber squad who will compete with anyone. Though losing the opener in Provo is nothing to be ashamed of, it was a missed opportunity.
Washington would have won this game had they executed better. We can debate the play-calling, but the real issue was simple execution. The players need to resist the urge to freelance, running the plays exactly the way the coaches are calling them.
Up next is Syracuse and most of us have circled this game as a win. Washington is a completely different team at home and the greatest improvement you see as a team is between week one and two of the season. I am betting that this team will begin to settle down after the loss and come out firing on all cylinders this Saturday.
One loss does not define a season. Just ask the Oregon Ducks who looked terrible in last years opener against Boise State. The Ducks didn't look much better over the next few games but when conference play began they were a true steamroller.
Give this young Husky squad a chance over the next few weeks and I think you will like the results.
Pac 10 Power Ratings
1. Oregon (1-0)...New Mexico is probably the worst squad in the FBS but the whooping the Ducks put on them is still impressive.
2. Arizona (1-0)...Toledo isn't a bad squad so this one sided win on the road really impressed me.
3. Oregon State (0-1)...There is no shame in losing to TCU on the road.
4. Stanford (1-0)...Tough to say what we have here since Sac State was basically an exhibition game.
5. USC (1-0)...The Trojans came that close to losing to Hawaii.
6. Washington (0-1)...How many Pac 10 squads would have beaten BYU in Provo last weekend? Think long and hard about that one.
7. California (1-0)...I am reserving judgment on this squad until they play Colorado.
8. Arizona State (1-0)...Another exhibition win for the Pac 10.
9. UCLA (0-1)...This team looks pretty similar to last years squad. Too many holes on this team.
10. WSU (0-1)...The Cougars aren't showing any improvement. They look just as disorganized on the field as they did last season which means that Paul Wulff isn't going to make it through the season.