With just a little over a month until the University of Washington’s first football game, the Huskies will soon begin to gear up for the 2012 season and they are looking good.
The Orlando Sentinel ranks Washington as No. 24 on their list of top college football teams, and the Huskies’ quarterback Keith Price has been named to the watch list for the Manning Award, which is given to the best quarterback in the country.
The Huskies have come a long way in the past three years under the tutelage of head coach Steve Sarkisian, but that doesn’t mean that Washington can just skate by. The Huskies have a tough schedule this season in the Pac-12 North division, so let’s break it down and analyze the Huskies chances of coming out on top.
*All odds are from BeyondtheBets.com.
Odds: Washington -20
Although the odds are in favor of the Washington Huskies, San Diego State shouldn’t be underestimated. The Aztecs have nothing to lose against the Huskies, and with the first game setting the tone for Washington’s season, an early loss to a team like San Diego State could be a season-ruiner.
The Huskies will be unveiling their newly revamped defense against the Aztecs, however, and if Washington’s new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox has done his job, then the Huskies will have a strong offense to match a powerful offense lead by star quarterback Keith Price.
The Huskies can definitely win this game; they just need to make sure they leave their nerves at the door and live up to the hype surrounding this rising football program.
Odds: Washington +21
If the Washington Huskies want to be a Top 25 team this season, they will need to win their first few games, so it’s a wonder why Washington scheduled a game against the powerful LSU in Week 2.
Not only will the Huskies have to face the strong running game and quick, powerful defense of the Tigers, but they will have to do it on the road.
The Huskies newly improved defense will definitely be tested by the Tigers, but despite their efforts, this game will definitely see LSU as the victor.
Odds: Washington -34
After the Huskies lose to the LSU Tigers in Week 2, they will have the chance to raise their spirits with a dominating win over the Portland State Vikings.
The one good thing coming out of Washington’s matchup against LSU will be experience. After playing such a powerhouse, hopefully the Huskies will be able to take what they learned against the Tigers and tweak both their offensive and defensive schemes.
Bottom line, this matchup will look more like a scrimmage than a real game with a complete blowout by Washington.
Odds: Washington +1.5
Out of the three big football programs in the Pac-12 (USC, Oregon and Stanford), Washington will definitely have the best chance of an upset against the Cardinal. With a spread as tight as this, it could very well come down to which team has more momentum throughout the game.
After the loss of Andrew Luck, Stanford will be playing with a less experienced team. The Huskies can definitely use this to their advantage throughout the game, but ultimately I see the Cardinal taking home the win. Head coach David Shaw has developed a foolproof offensive running scheme that the Huskies newly renovated defense will have more difficulties with than they think.
Odds: Washington +17
Simply put, the Washington Huskies have a regretful schedule this year. As if LSU at Week 2 was bad enough, Washington will face off against the three biggest powerhouses (USC, Oregon and Stanford) consecutively.
After a tight game against Stanford, the Huskies will travel north to face the wrath that is Autzen Stadium. Here, the Huskies’ new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox will be put to the test against an almost-unstoppable Oregon offense.
The Huskies will also have the pressure of looking ahead to the following week’s matchup against the preseason No. 1 USC, so expect Washington to go 0-3 against the Pac-12’s top teams.
Odds: Washington +10.5
The Washington Huskies will end their series against the big three in the Pac-12 by facing off against the USC Trojans at home. Although the Huskies do have home field advantage, it may not mean much against the Trojans star-filled offense. With Heisman-favorite quarterback Matt Barkley throwing to USC’s dynamic duo receiving team of Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, Washington’s offense will have to answer back with some big plays of its own.
By this point in the season, Washington’s defense should have stabilized a bit more, and if the Huskies want a chance against the Trojans, they will have to make sure their D-line is at its best.
Odds: Washington -7
After a challenging three games, the Huskies will end their 2012 season with six straight winnable games.
Starting with the Arizona Wildcats, the Huskies should be able to pull out an easy win pushing them to a 3-4 record. Home field advantage for the Wildcats will be of no advantage for them, because their defensive line is just too easy to break.
With quarterback Keith Price leading the Huskies offense, we can expect both great passes and even better runs. I think the Huskies will take this game by more than seven points, which will give them good momentum heading into the last half of their season.
Odds: Washington -13.5
A must-win game for the Huskies, and luckily, it will be an easy one for the taking. Washington will face off against the Oregon State Beavers at home in Week 9, and their win will bring some much needed momentum and spirit to the fans and team.
Oregon State has a weak passing game, which should take some pressure off the Huskies’ defense. With Washington’s biggest contender for the No. 3 spot in the Pac-12 North division the following week, the Huskies should be able to rest and save their energy for Week 10 instead.
Bottom line, the Huskies have the Beavers in the bag.
Odds: Washington +1
Hands down, this will be the biggest game for the Washington Huskies in 2012. Looking at the Vegas odds, the Huskies will most likely lose to both Stanford and Oregon, so if they want to hold on to a Top 25 spot and the No. 3 spot in the Pac-12 North division, then they will have to take down the Cal Golden Bears.
The Golden Bears posed a big threat to their opposing offenses in 2011, and despite their lack of returning starters, they will still be a force to be reckoned with.
The Huskies’ quarterback Keith Price will have to be on his A-game if Washington wants to pressure Cal’s defense, but the Vegas odds are right here—honestly this game is a toss-up.
Odds: Washington -3.5
The Washington Huskies will end their 2012 season with three shoo-in wins, starting with a home game against the Utah Utes. The Pac-12 South division looks to be pretty weak—minus the USC Trojans—so Utah should have compiled a good record by Week 11. With the Utes positive momentum going in to this game, the Huskies can’t take it lightly.
The Huskies’ matchup against the Utah Utes will also be Washington’s last home game, so the Huskies will also have the motivation of ending their home field games on an optimistic note.
Odds: Washington -10.5
Beside their matchup against the Portland State Vikings, this should be one of the easiest games for the Washington Huskies. The Colorado Buffaloes don’t are weak on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, so Washington shouldn’t have a hard time picking them apart.
The only thing that could derail the Huskies is if they start to look too far ahead to their final game against their state rivals, but if they stay focused, they will easily beat the Buffaloes.
Odds: Washington -3
The Washington Huskies are ending their 2012 season against their inter-state rivals, the Washington State Cougars. I don’t really agree with the Vegas odds here, because I have a feeling that the Cougars will end their season in last place in the Pac-12 North division.
With bowl game berths on the line, you can expect the Huskies to bring all that they have, and we should see some big plays out of quarterback Keith Price. My prediction is that the Huskies win by 14; after all, they did beat the Cougars 38-21 in 2011.