Husky fans need to remember that we were playing Oklahoma on Saturday and not Iowa State. Oklahoma and USC are probably the two best teams in college football right now. I think what USC did to Ohio State could be duplicated by both teams against all the other teams in the top ten.
I think there is a very good chance that the Sooners and the Trojans will be playing for the BCS championship in January. The Huskies may be 0-3 but the three teams that beat them are likely participants in BCS bowls over the Holidays.
Nobody ever gave UW much of a chance heading into the season against Oklahoma, and Oregon playing all that youth. The controversial one point loss to a BYU team that went out and thrashed UCLA 59-0 is unfortunate, but this team can rebound.
Husky fans may not be patient with Tyrone Willingham but they need to be patient with the team because they only have an average of 2.12 years of experience across the board. They have started seven different freshman, and a record ten have played already this season. The tough lessons learned over the past three weeks will pay dividends in the future. The real question is whether Willingham will be around to see that future.
UW is headed into a four game stretch of winnable games against Stanford, Arizona, Oregon State, and Notre Dame. These are all games that Willingham and his team have to win if he harbors any hopes of returning for a fifth season.
This well planned bye week is incredibly important because it allows the team a week to heal up and emotionally rebuild for the most important stretch of the season, and probably Willingham's career.
Willingham needs to rebuild his team emotionally so they keep playing for him. During his tenure I haven't seen the team quit on him. Every week they return and take another shot at getting it turned around. He desperately needs this team to show up against Stanford and get the first win of the year. That would remove a very big monkey off Ty's back. If he loses against Stanford early resignation becomes a very realistic option.
If the Huskies can beat Stanford they are going to have a little momentum going forward when they travel to Arizona. The Wildcats fell to New Mexico again on Saturday and the drum beats are starting again for Mike Stoops head in Tucson. Washington can beat Arizona if they can play a little pass defense. i know that is a big if, but the Arizona defense is on a par with UW's right now.
The Huskies get Oregon State next. Riley's Beavers have been mediocre this year. They did beat on Hawaii yesterday, but this years edition of the Warriors aren't very good at all. Washington should expect to win a game like this at home even theough the Beavers should improve each week.
At the end of the home stand Notre Dame comes in to Husky Stadium for the big rematch between Weis, and Willingham. I saw the Irish struggle with San Diego State at home for a win. Last week they took apart Michigan which is struggling to learn a new system. I don't have a good read on the Irish yet, but Washington should be very competitive with them.
If Ty gets those four wins he is 4-3 heading into the Coliseum to play the nations #1 team USC. UW for some reason always plays a great game against USC. I dont' think this years game will be close but Ty could be 4-4 headed into the final stretch against Arizona State, UCLA, WSU, and California who each lost ugly this weekend. UW should be able to find the two wins they needs against that final four.
The season is far from over for Washington. There is plenty of football left to be played, and if Ty can rally the troops this week a young, but talented Washington team could rally to make the season interesting not to mention save the job of its embattled head coach.
Pac Ten Power Ratings
1. USC...The Trojans proved they deserved the #1 position after thrashing Ohio State on national television. Oregon is probably the only team that can keep up with them right now, and that is very debatable.
2. Oregon...The Ducks weren't that impressive in the first half against Purdue but they rallied behind a strong running game to edge them in over time. It isn't easy playing on the road against Joe Tiller. I give the Duckies a mulligan.
3. Arizona State...I don't think anyone saw this one coming. How do the Sun Devils lose at home to UNLV? This loss drops the Devils out of serious BCS contention.
4. California....The Bears had no business losing to Maryland but started slow on the road and didn't finish in time despite rallying. Cal had to travel a long way to get there and maybe that was a factor.
5. Oregon State...There is nothing like taking apart a rebuilding Hawaii team at home to help get your confidence back. Riley's teams always finish strong.
6. Washington...How do the Huskies climb up one rung after one of the worst losses in school history? I think they can beat the four teams ranked below them and perhaps the two teams ahead of them.
7. Arizona...Losing to New Mexico is no way to get to a bowl game. Stoops had to beat all three patsies but this loss will hurt in December.
8. Stanford...TCU was simply a better team but the Cardinal is on the right track.
9. UCLA...I don't care if you beat Tennessee, if you lose 59-0 to Brigham Young after UW lost to them 28-27 you fall in this poll like a rock.
10. Washington State...You usually circle Baylor as a win but the Bears are on the rebound with a phenom QB. The Cougars may not win one this year unless Idaho is on the schedule.