As a University of Washington fan for the past three decades, I've heard every narrative about schedule difficulty (lies), recruiting disadvantages (damn lies) and continuity of staff (well, stats do point out this is true) that I think I ever want to hear. Around two to three weeks before the season, a few of us get together and inevitably the talk comes to sports. As we sat about, I mentioned that I was looking forward to the start of the English Premier League. The beauty of it to me is that there is no playoff and every game then is weighted equally and you find out about your depth, your want and desire more so than your ability to get hot for a four, six or eight week stretch.
As a UW fan, I've never measured the success of my team on National Titles. Since 2009, the goal has been the same, bowl wins. You don't set unrealistic expectations. That's the surest way to find sadness and heaven knows that the losses do enough of that as it is when the Montlake warriors lose.
As we sat around the fire-pit, someone asked me where I think UW is as a team. Obviously, with the depth we have this year is tempered with the performance of the QB last year (WR play was woeful at best) and the "tough schedule". We went through the schedule and saw 6 "gimmie" (games you should win if you're good) and 6 "toss-up" (BSU, STAN, UO, OSU, UCLA, ASU) games. What you do in the "toss-up" games defines your season and your coaching staff.
The beauty of sports where there are no playoffs is that for us as fans, the Oregon State game and the Cal carry the same weight as UO and Stanford. Every game is the Super Bowl. Two weeks from now, I'll be sitting in a cold dark room to immerse myself in a game that really has no major outcome on our season. Why? Because the Field Don't Lie.
We don't know for sure what we have until August 31st, we have a guess. We have depth that is confusing to me, as in there is depth at every position but defensive line. The back 7 is frighteningly good. Feeny and Timu might have a year that can only be described as "explosive".
As we sat discussing everything, I turned to Superfan Grant and asked him a question that UW fans haven't dared contemplate, "Is there a position that if we had an injury outside of QB, you would cringe and claim the season over?" He replied a confused no.
Depth, the cure for the attrition the field is going to bring to your team. You look around those 44 guys on the 2 deeps and you see a lot of guys who've been forced to play and grow up fast. Guys who've been pushed around and who survived.
Boise State, Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon State.
Going 1-5 in that stretch gets you to 7 wins.
2-4 gets you to 8 wins.
That's not a good record to be frank for this staff.
We aren't waiting for opportunity to knock, lets blow the doors off.
I'm a UW fan who survived the dismantling of this program culminating in 2008 so I can't dare dream.
8.5 wins, but yet when I say that, it feels like that isn't enough for this squad. I feel like I'm selling guys short. The rebounding of Keith Price. The maturation of John Timu, Josh Shirley, Andrew Hudson and Danny Shelton. The fight in guys like Deante Cooper who refuses to stop and might just will this team to more than one game...
The next two years should see 20 plus wins from a great team. This team can be great.
Field Don't Lie though.
9-3 this year and next year, its time.