Confused? Check out the advanced-stats glossary here.
1. Good hires abound
Stanford replaced Walt Harris with Jim Harbaugh, then David Shaw. UCLA replaced Rick Neuheisel with Jim Mora. Washington State replaced Paul Wulff with Mike Leach. Arizona State replaced Dennis Erickson with Todd Graham. Arizona replaced Mike Stoops with Rich Rodriguez. Colorado replaced Jon Embree with Mike MacIntyre. Washington replaced Ty Willingham with Steve Sarkisian. USC replaced Lane Kiffin with Steve Sarkisian, as well.
It's amazing how much better your conference gets when schools replace coaches with better coaches.
The Pac-12 may have been the best, deepest conference in the country last season. Stanford and Oregon have achieved sustained elite (or nearly elite) play in recent years. UCLA, Arizona State, and Washington went from solid to very good. Arizona was only a couple of steps behind. Colorado and Washington State went from awful to respectable, respectively. USC's record belied its advanced stats, Oregon State was solid, and Utah was extremely interesting until an injury to its quarterback.
Basically, everyone but Cal had reason to believe 2013 was a sign of great things to come. And the primary reason for that is cash and good hires. Pac-12 schools seem to be pulling in plenty of the former, and that tends to help a bit with the latter.
With Sarkisian's departure to USC, Washington was forced to dip back into the pool of hires again, and on paper, the Huskies may have just made another upgrade. In eight seasons of coaching a major (in performance, if not in name) program at Boise State, Chris Petersen went 92-13, engineered five top-11 finishes, and won two BCS bowls. Washington has won 92 games in the last 16 years, pulled off five top-11 finishes in the last 30, and won two BCS-grade bowls in the last 23.
In terms of pure accomplishment, it's difficult for anyone in the country to make a better hire than Petersen. But almost nothing is guaranteed. Even the best-looking hires can fail to pan out because of differences in recruiting, or culture, or booster influence, or luck. And while Petersen's record is sparkling, it's not without some question marks.
1. What happened the last two years? Here's what I said in January's "Grading the coaching hires" piece:
Boise State slipped rather drastically in recent years. After ranking first in the F/+ rankings in 2010 (ahead of even national champion Auburn) and fifth in 2011, the Broncos slipped to 21st in 2012 and 45th in 2013. Losing breakthrough talent like Kellen Moore hurt, but perhaps the biggest source of slippage came in the booth, where Petersen was tasked with replacing successful assistant after successful assistant.
It's quite possible that opponents were simply beginning to catch up to Boise State tactically; if that's the case, then this isn't a slam-dunk success. But if the problem was more in continuing to find great assistants or landing diamond-in-the-rough talent, then those will be rectified to a good degree at UW.
Until he proves otherwise, we don't know for sure that Petersen has the same edge that he had from 2006-11. I'm not concerned about this, but he still has to prove it isn't a concern.
2. What happens with recruiting? At Boise State, Petersen had to get creative in locating and landing high-caliber athletes. He did well with it for quite a while, but according to Rivals, in his last five recruiting classes in Boise, he landed one four-star recruit and 11 high-three-stars (those with the 5.7 Rivals Rating).
With his talent development, Petersen obviously doesn't need top-15 recruiting classes to produce top-15 results. But in the rising tide of the Pac-12, he'll probably need to do better than he has of late, both in recruiting and performance. Plus, as we all know, recruiting successes help to keep anxious fans assuaged until real progress begins on the field. (Actually, as a Missouri fan, I can say that fans are never assuaged when recruiting is involved. Disregard that last sentence. No matter how many three-star recruits turn into four-star performers, fans will flip out when you lose a local four-star or when you land a prospect with a small offer sheet. Ignore them.)
Early signs are encouraging. Petersen and his staff secured three four-star commitments late in the 2014 recruiting cycle and has one four-star commitment thus far in the 2015 class. Petersen doesn't need too many of those guys, but he'll probably need a few.
3. What's the baseline here?
Over the last seven seasons in Seattle, Washington has been excellent once, terrible once, and almost perfectly average five times. It took Sarkisian a while to break through, and he left as soon as he had done so, but compared to Pac-12 peers, what should we expect from the Washington program from year to year? How will we know if Petersen is over- or underachieving?
Really, though, these are long-term questions. In the short-term, i.e. 2014, Petersen should be able to do some damage with this roster.
2013 Schedule & Results
|Record: 9-4 | Adj. Record: 12-1 | Final F/+ Rk: 18|
|Date||Opponent||Opp. F/+ Rk||Score||W-L||Adj. Score||Adj. W-L||5-gm Adj. Avg.|
|31-Aug||Boise State||45||38-6||W||44.9 - 16.9||W|
|14-Sep||vs. Illinois||71||34-24||W||30.1 - 23.2||W|
|21-Sep||Idaho State||N/A||56-0||W||35.0 - 13.9||W|
|28-Sep||Arizona||25||31-13||W||24.0 - 13.4||W|
|5-Oct||at Stanford||3||28-31||L||35.9 - 17.3||W||17.0|
|12-Oct||Oregon||5||24-45||L||32.0 - 30.1||W||11.8|
|19-Oct||at Arizona State||13||24-53||L||16.4 - 32.8||L||7.1|
|26-Oct||California||103||41-17||W||29.0 - 26.1||W||3.5|
|9-Nov||Colorado||95||59-7||W||41.1 - 19.3||W||5.8|
|15-Nov||at UCLA||15||31-41||L||32.9 - 26.7||W||3.3|
|23-Nov||at Oregon State||42||69-27||W||45.5 - 21.9||W||7.6|
|29-Nov||Washington State||53||27-17||W||25.7 - 20.1||W||12.0|
|27-Dec||vs. BYU||30||31-16||W||29.3 - 22.7||W||12.8|
|Points Per Game||37.9||18||22.8||29|
|Adj. Points Per Game||32.4||39||21.9||19|
2. A UCLA-style blip
After a few years of waiting for "seven-win Steve" to break through -- well, to break through again after moving from 0-12 to 7-6 in just two seasons -- Washington fans were quite polarized midway through last season. On one hand, the Huskies' dominance of Boise State and Arizona was proof that they were a tremendous football team. On the other, losses to Stanford and Oregon proved that they weren't as good as they needed to be to get back to the BCS, and a hungover blowout loss at Arizona State hinted at a potential season collapse.
This was a pretty mature, talented Washington squad, however. After easing past a bad California team the week following the ASU game, the Huskies found fourth gear again.
- Adj. Points Per Game (first 5 games): Washington 34.0, Opponent 16.9 (plus-17.1)
- Adj. Points Per Game (next 3 games): Opponent 29.7, Washington 25.8 (minus-3.9)
- Adj. Points Per Game (last 5 games): Washington 34.9, Opponent 22.1 (plus-12.8)
Like UCLA, a mid-season blip tamped down the ratings for an otherwise fantastic team. And like UCLA, Washington wasn't ready to clear the rather tall Oregon-Stanford hurdle.
But unlike UCLA, Washington shares a division with Oregon and Stanford. For now, that's advantage: UCLA.
|FIVE FACTORS -- OFFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||45.3%||39||Succ. Rt. +||108.9||31|
|FIELD POSITION||Def. Avg. FP||27.9||27||Def. FP+||104.4||15|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Trip in 40||4.8||18||Redzone S&P+||117.4||16|
|Q1 Rk||42||1st Down Rk||70|
|Q2 Rk||71||2nd Down Rk||25|
|Q3 Rk||2||3rd Down Rk||7|
3. Bringing the Boise way (whatever that means) to Seattle
How Washington works
How Washington works
When Kellen Moore was passing for millions of yards at Boise State, we always used the Broncos as an example of Moneyballing, of underdog tactics, in college football. But unlike the air raid or the flexbone option, Boise's underdog tactics weren't specific to a given style of football. There were no obvious, identifying characteristics.
At its best, what Boise State did under Petersen was identify potential talent advantages, move defenders around the field (using motion or varied formations), create numbers and talent advantages, and keep doing it until opponents adjusted. If that meant passing for 3500+ yards, as Moore did in all four seasons of his career, that was fine. If that meant a run-pass balance with shorter passing and more power running, c'est la vie. At their best, the Broncos were constantly a step ahead of defenses, preparing for the defensive adjustment, then countering it immediately.
Last season, Boise State was at its best when running back Jay Ajayi was pounding into the middle of the defense (often with a huge run-up to the line) and quarterbacks Grant Hedrick and Joe Southwick were slinging quick passes to the perimeter. Boise State wasn't as effective in the last couple of seasons when the talent level dropped, but the intentions remained the same.
In 2014, Petersen and offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith (his QBs coach at BSU the last two seasons) should be able to find some talent advantages to milk, especially in the running game. Washington has an Ajayi-style efficiency back in sophomore Dwayne Washington (one with solid speed to boot) and some potential speedsters in seniors Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper. (Plus, apparently all-world defender Shaq Thompson pulled a Myles Jack and spent some time in the backfield this spring as well. Be afraid.) They'll be running behind a vastly experienced line to boot.
Note: players in bold below are 2014 returnees. Players in italics are questionable with injury/suspension.
|Cyler Miles||6'4, 217||So.||4 stars (6.0)||37||61||418||4||2||60.7%||2||3.2%||6.3|
|Jeff Lindquist||6'3, 240||So.||4 stars (5.8)|
|Troy Wililams||6'2, 199||RSFr.||4 stars (6.0)|
|K.J. Carta-Samuels||6'2, 225||Fr.||4 stars (5.8)|
|Jesse Callier||RB||5'10, 202||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||48||213||3||4.4||5.7||29.2%|
|Dwayne Washington||RB||6'2, 221||So.||3 stars (5.5)||47||332||4||7.1||7.4||48.9%|
|Deontae Cooper||RB||6'0, 201||Sr.||4 stars (5.8)||43||270||3||6.3||10.7||30.2%|
|Cyler Miles||QB||6'4, 217||So.||4 stars (6.0)||21||218||0||10.4||12.2||52.4%|
|John Ross||WR||5'11, 180||So.||3 stars (5.7)||6||37||0||6.2||4.2||50.0%|
|Jaydon Mickens||WR||5'11, 171||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||5||17||0||3.4||1.3||40.0%|
|Lavon Coleman||RB||6'0, 215||RSFr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Shaq Thompson||LB||6'2, 231||Jr.||5 stars (6.1)|
|Jomon Dotson||RB||5'11, 175||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Jaydon Mickens||SLOT||5'11, 171||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||82||65||688||79.3%||21.2%||64.7%||8.4||-24||8.4||89.6|
|Kasen Williams||WR||6'3, 221||Sr.||4 stars (5.8)||48||29||421||60.4%||12.4%||43.2%||8.8||58||9.0||54.8|
|John Ross||WR||5'11, 180||So.||3 stars (5.7)||18||16||208||88.9%||4.7%||64.3%||11.6||41||8.7||27.1|
|Marvin Hall||WR||5'10, 182||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)||14||8||140||57.1%||3.6%||25.0%||10.0||37||23.9||18.2|
|Joshua Perkins||TE||6'4, 228||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)||11||5||57||45.5%||2.8%||87.5%||5.2||-16||11.1||7.4|
|Jesse Callier||RB||5'10, 202||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||10||9||53||90.0%||2.6%||44.4%||5.3||-40||4.9||6.9|
|DiAndre Campbell||WR||6'2, 199||Sr.||2 stars (5.3)||8||3||34||37.5%||2.1%||100.0%||4.3||-15||4.2||4.4|
|Michael Hartvigson||TE||6'6, 255||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Darrell Daniels||TE||6'4, 241||So.||4 stars (5.8)|
|Kendyl Taylor||WR||5'10, 203||So.||3 stars (5.7)|
|David Ajamu||TE||6'5, 244||RSFr.||3 stars (5.5)|
|Neel Salukhe||WR||5'11, 162||RSFr.||NR|
|Dante Pettis||WR||6'1, 175||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Brayden Lenius||WR||6'5, 220||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
4. Upside? Check. Experience? Well...
Kasen Williams has been one of the nation's better possession receivers throughout his career, and in Jaydon Mickens, Washington has an interesting potential run-and-catch threat. Sophomore John Ross was rather thrilling in a small sample last year, and former four-star tight end Darrell Daniels will attempt to break into the rotation this fall in Washington's attempt to replace Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
You can talk yourself into quite a few of Washington's potential receiving options, but this is a potential-versus-production unit. Williams and Mickens have proven themselves, but that's about it. Mickens, Ross, and senior DiAndre Campbell finished the spring atop the depth chart (Williams was still recovering from last season's broken leg), with junior Josh Perkins the top tight end. This could be a pretty fluid two-deep while the options get figured out.
|Micah Hatchie||LT||6'5, 301||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||26|
|Colin Tanigawa||RG||6'3, 279||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||26|
|Dexter Charles||LG||6'5, 278||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)||21|
|Ben Riva||RT||6'7, 313||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||21|
|Mike Criste||C||6'6, 318||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||20|
|James Atoe||RG||6'7, 375||Sr.||2 stars (5.2)||7|
|Shane Brostek||RG||6'4, 287||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)||3|
|Siosifa Tufunga||LG||6'3, 321||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)||0|
|Ross Dolbec||RT||6'5, 304||Jr.||NR||0|
|Jake Eldrenkamp||LT||6'5, 287||So.||3 stars (5.5)||0|
|Michael Kneip||LG||6'5, 283||So.||2 stars (5.3)||0|
|Dane Crane||C||6'3, 300||RSFr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Coleman Shelton||LT||6'4, 276||RSFr.||3 stars (5.5)|
|Andrew Kirkland||RT||6'4, 302||RSFr.||3 stars (5.5)|
5. The best asset a young QB can have
The quarterback position appears potentially unsettled -- sophomore Cyler Miles, the presumptive starter, was suspended this spring and missed some prime development time -- but whoever lines up behind center will be a former four-star signee, and Petersen and Smith should have no problem leaning on the run if they need to.
Not only do they have a handful of potentially strong running backs, but they have a line that ranked 23rd in Adj. Line Yards last season and returns seven players with starting experience (124 career starts) and all five of last year's primary starters. Plus, with Micah Hatchie and Dexter Charles both out with injuries this spring, some backups got some development time as well.
Pass protection was a bit of an issue last season, but some of that was on quarterback Keith Price, who sometimes held onto the ball too long in attempt to make a play. Miles had a quicker delivery (in a small sample) and a lower sack rate.
|FIVE FACTORS -- DEFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||39.9%||38||Succ. Rt. +||112.9||21|
|FIELD POSITION||Off. Avg. FP||30.6||59||Off. FP+||100.5||55|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Trip in 40||3.8||26||Redzone S&P+||129.8||5|
|Q1 Rk||3||1st Down Rk||38|
|Q2 Rk||18||2nd Down Rk||13|
|Q3 Rk||46||3rd Down Rk||6|
6. Passive against the run, vicious against the pass
Washington's recruiting in the front seven improved in recent years, but that had not yet translated to stellar run defense. The Huskies ranked 39th in Rushing S&P+ and 66th in Adj. Line yards, but if they were able to force you to pass, bad things were about to happen to you. End Hau'oli Kikaha was one of the best pure pass-rushing ends in the country, which meant that UW didn't have to blitz much to get pressure.
Linebackers defensed 16 passes, and an active, experienced secondary did even more damage. This was a tough, super-fast defense, and only a couple of offenses had any major success. Oregon and Arizona State averaged 7.0 yards per play; everybody else averaged 4.6.
An experienced line will probably need to do the secondary a few more favors this fall. Whereas seven of the top nine tacklers on the line return (including Kikaha), along with four of six at linebacker, the secondary's been stripped rather bare.
|Rivals||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Hau'oli Kikaha||DE||6'3, 250||Sr.||3 stars (5.5)||13||58.0||7.4%||15.5||13.0||0||3||3||0|
|Cory Littleton||DE||6'3, 227||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)||13||47.5||6.0%||10.0||5.0||0||2||1||0|
|Danny Shelton||NT||6'2, 332||Sr.||4 stars (5.8)||13||47.5||6.0%||3.5||2.0||0||3||0||0|
|Evan Hudson||DT||6'5, 281||Sr.||3 stars (5.5)||13||16.5||2.1%||4.5||4.0||0||1||0||0|
|Taniela Tupou||DT||6'2, 277||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||13||6.0||0.8%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Joe Mathis||DE||6'2, 248||So.||4 stars (5.8)||12||5.5||0.7%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Marcus Farria||DE||6'4, 235||So.||3 stars (5.7)||7||5.5||0.7%||2.5||2.5||0||0||0||0|
|Damion Turpin||DT||6'4, 263||So.||3 stars (5.6)||4||2.0||0.3%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Andrew Hudson||DE||6'3, 251||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Jarett Finau||DE||6'3, 268||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)|
|Psalm Wooching||DE||6'3, 230||So.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Elijah Qualls||NT||6'2, 298||RSFr.||4 stars (5.8)|
|Kaleb McGary||DL||6'7, 285||Fr.||4 stars (5.8)|
|Greg Gaines||DT||6'1, 305||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Jaylen Johnson||DE||6'3, 245||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Jaimie Bryant||NT||6'4, 309||Fr.||3 stars (5.5)|
|Rivals||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Shaq Thompson||OLB||6'2, 231||Jr.||5 stars (6.1)||13||64.0||8.1%||4.0||0.5||1||4||0||0|
|John Timu||ILB||6'1, 244||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||12||57.5||7.3%||3.5||2.0||2||2||0||0|
|Travis Feeney||OLB||6'4, 217||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)||13||45.5||5.8%||5.0||2.5||0||6||0||0|
|Scott Lawyer||OLB||6'2, 223||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)||13||15.0||1.9%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Sean Constantine||OLB||6'2, 221||RSFr.||4 stars (5.8)|
|Connor O'Brien||OLB||6'3, 229||RSFr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Keishawn Bierria||OLB||6'1, 216||RSFr.||3 stars (5.6)|
|Azeem Victor||ILB||6'3, 243||RSFr.||3 stars (5.6)|
7. Potential and experience up front
In theory, if the secondary gets weaker, the front seven could pick up the slack. New defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, another Boise import (his defenses ranked first, 11th, and 17th in Def. F/+ from 2010-12 before regressing to 72nd last fall), knows how to max out potential up front, and he certainly has some toys to play with.
First, there are the starters. Kikaha and Shaq Thompson are back. So is monstrous nose Danny Shelton. John Timu was a solid inside linebacker, and Travis Feeney was a fine complement for Thompson at OLB. But Washington was still shaky against the run with this lineup, and it will be interesting to see what tweaks Kwiatkowski makes.
It will also be interesting to see who joins the rotation. Joe Mathis (end), Elijah Qualls (tackle), and Sean Constantine (OLB) are all four-star youngsters on the second string, and in Kaleb McGary, UW boasts a monstrous four-star freshman end as well. This front seven, then, gives you both known quantities and high-upside unknowns. And if the Huskies can crack the top 30 in Rushing S&P+ (possible) and maintain a strong pass rush (probable), that will help the pass defense immensely.
|Rivals||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Marcus Peters||CB||6'0, 198||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||13||49.5||6.3%||3.5||1||5||9||1||1|
|Kevin King||S||6'2, 181||So.||3 stars (5.6)||10||15.5||2.0%||0||0||0||1||0||1|
|Travell Dixon||CB||6'1, 200||Sr.||4 stars (6.0)||4||7.0||0.9%||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|Trevor Walker||S||5'11, 187||So.||3 stars (5.6)||6||5.5||0.7%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Brandon Beaver||S||6'0, 184||So.||4 stars (5.8)||6||2.0||0.3%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Thomas Vincent||S||6'0, 200||Jr.||2 stars (5.3)|
|Brian Clay||CB||6'1, 193||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)|
|Jermaine Kelly||CB||6'1, 188||RSFr.||4 stars (5.8)|
|Budda Baker||S||5'10, 180||Fr.||4 stars (6.0)|
|Darren Gardenhire||CB||6'0, 180||Fr.||3 stars (5.7)|
|Naijiel Hale||CB||5'11, 180||Fr.||3 stars (5.7)|
8. Questions in the back
First, the good news: ace cornerback Marcus Peters is back. That alone assures that Washington has one known quantity and a guy to scrap with the strong No. 1 receivers of the Pac-12. But the top three safeties and corner Gregory Ducre are gone, meaning that, unlike the front seven, the secondary will have to depend on some high-caliber youngsters sooner than later.
That the youngsters are of high caliber is not in dispute. Sophomore Brandon Beaver and redshirt freshman Jermaine Kelly, each former four-stars, were solid in the spring; both could be full-time starters in 2014. Plus, incoming freshman Budda Baker was the best high school player in the state and probably won't need much acclimation to make a difference.
The ceiling is high in the secondary, but moving from seniors to freshmen and sophomores rarely works out without some growing pains. The pass rush will help, but a passive, rather ineffective secondary hurt Boise State significantly last year, and the same could happen, at least temporarily, to Washington in 2014.
|Cameron Van Winkle||5'10, 173||So.||34||60.4||11||0||32.4%|
|John Ross||KR||5'11, 180||So.||31||23.2||1|
|Marvin Hall||PR||5'10, 182||Jr.||5||9.4||0|
|Kasen Williams||PR||6'3, 221||Sr.||5||1.8||0|
|Special Teams F/+||19|
|Field Goal Efficiency||9|
|Punt Return Efficiency||79|
|Kick Return Efficiency||22|
|Opponents' Field Goal Efficiency||76|
9. A new set of legs
Losing Travis Coons means losing a great kicker, a strong punter, and a mediocre kickoffs guy all in one. Two of the three could be difficult to replace. John Ross gives the Huskies a good kick returner, and you could do worse than Marvin Hall and Kasen Williams (you could also do better), but Cameron Van Winkle and others have some shoes to fill in the kicking game.
2014 Schedule & Projection Factors
|29-Nov||at Washington State||68|
|Five-Year F/+ Rk||4.2% (48)|
|Two-Year Recruiting Rk||23|
|TO Margin/Adj. TO Margin*||7 / 9.4|
|Approx. Ret. Starters (Off. / Def.)||13 (6, 7)|
10. Another potential mid-season blip
Washington played its two worst games of the season against two of its best opponents, Oregon and Arizona State. If the same thing happens this fall, we could be talking about another mid-season funk, as the Huskies play Stanford, Oregon, and Arizona State in a four-game span, then host UCLA two weeks after ASU.
Then again, there might not be a funk at all. Three of those four opponents come to Seattle, and it only takes a couple of ifs to make Washington one hell of a team in 2014. If Cyler Miles has his head on straight and catches on to Petersen's system quickly, and if the run defense improves with greater experience, Washington won't have any demonstrable weaknesses.
And if the secondary is able to play at a high level despite youth, then UW could be a Pac-12 contender.
Granted, those are three pretty significant ifs, and I doubt all three come to fruition. But Steve Sarkisian left Washington in infinitely better shape than he found it, and Chris Petersen has a lot more exciting pieces than he did in Boise last year. The projections for UW are conservative, but of course they are -- the Huskies have only been truly good once in almost a decade.
It's not hard to see the Huskies achieving above projection, though. And with a good first year or two, it's not hard to see recruiting working out just fine and Petersen enjoying one hell of a tenure at UW. Washington's a big reason why the Pac-12 is so damn strong now, and the Huskies aren't likely to fade too much in the coming years.