You may have noticed that Washington has spent time in the top 25 this season. They've been on national TV in primetime and they've been bandied about on college football talk shows. You may have noticed something else. They're a bad team. So how exactly does a bad team stay relevant? By looking good, of course, and the way Washington has looked good is by scheduling well.
We've discussed scheduling at length here recently thanks to Dan Guerrero's brilliant (unending sarcasm) decision to have the Bruins play Texas at Cowboys Stadium. That is an example of awful scheduling. Want to see an example of great scheduling? Look at Washington's slate this season.
9/3 vs. Eastern Washington
9/10 vs. Hawaii
9/17 at Nebraska
9/24 vs. Cal
10/1 at Utah
10/15 vs. Colorado
10/22 at Stanford
10/29 vs. Arizona
11/5 vs. Oregon
11/12 at USC
11/19 at Oregon St.
11/26 vs. Washington St.
For those keeping track, that's seven home games, five road games. One of those home games (vs. Wazzu) is at CenturyLink Field because of the complete renovation they're undergoing at Husky Stadium. Even so, that's seven home games, two straight against weak squads to open the season so they have a couple gimme wins and a good way to build to start the season. Then they play a tough out of conference game against Nebraska, which is fine. One game out of conference against a big team is good and they backed it with seven home games so they won't get caught playing catch up if they lose that tough roadie.
That right there is how you schedule. That Washington team? They're 6-4, but they were 6-2 and bowl eligible after eight games. This despite being 0-4 against ranked teams and losing each of those games by at least two touchdowns. Their defense is abysmal and their offense isn't special. They're a bad football team, but they scheduled themselves into looking pretty good.
Imagine if UCLA did that this season. What we scrapped that trip to Houston and instead played a home gam against New Mexico? We would have six wins and be bowl eligible after nine games. We'd have started the season 2-0 and had some momentum as well as plenty of hype going into our game against Texas. Yeah, we could have scheduled our way into making our talented, but awful football team look good. That's what an athletic department and its athletic director is supposed to do. Help your team and program and make them look good.
Hey Dan, are you watching? Washington just showed you how to schedule your way into looking halfway decent even when you can't put together a good football team. Care to try it or will you just do us all a favor, step down and let someone competent step in and do it?