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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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May 23, 2008 4:55 PM

Examining the schedules

Posted by Bob Condotta

Lots of interesting debate on here today about UW's schedule and whether it's the right thing for the program right now to bring a team like LSU to kick off the 2009 season.

I'm one of those who likes big games and respects the fact that Washington has traditionally not shied away from tough competition, so in general, I think this is the right way to go. I also think that by 2009, the Huskies ought to be ready for it, with almost everyone back from the 2008 roster, notably a QB who would be entering his third year as a starter.

Also worth keeping in mind is that a lot of the schedule maneuvering of the last few years was forced on the Huskies a little bit.

The Huskies planned, in 2007, 2008 and 2009, to play teams like Indiana, Illinois and Nevada. All three schools asked out of those games (Indiana after playing here in 2003), forcing UW to scramble.

Let's review year-by-year to see how the schedules were intended to look (according to the 2004 media guide) and how they look now.

2007

Here's the original non-conference schedule in 2007:

at Indiana
Oklahoma
Ohio State

Here's how it up after Indiana pulled out and Todd Turner then tried to soften it a bit, eliminating the back-to-back games against Oklahoma and OSU:

at Syracuse
Boise State
Ohio State
at Hawaii

I think the schedule UW ended up playing was easier than what it originally planned to play, excluding the Hawaii game, which was an extra, and which ultimately didn't do much to determine the fate of the season anyway.

2008

Here's the original non-conference lineup for 2008:
BYU
Boise State
at Illinois
Notre Dame

Here's how it ended up:

BYU
Oklahoma
Notre Dame

A couple things happened here. First, the Pac-10 decided to play nine conference games, so the Huskies had to cut out one of the non-conference games. That was made easy when Illinois asked out of its series with UW. Turner then switched the Boise State and Oklahoma games to make the 2007 a little softer, the thought being that the Huskies would be readier to play a tougher slate in 2008. Ultimately, you get Oklahoma but lose at Illinois and Boise State. Definitely a little bit tougher.

(If you're wondering, the Pac-10 team UW would have missed in 2008 is UCLA, which would have prevented what will be one of the highlights of this season --- the return to Husky Stadium of Rick Neuheisel).

2009

Here's the original schedule for 2009:

Nevada
Illinois
at Notre Dame

Here's how it ended up:

LSU
Idaho
at Notre Dame

Again, both Nevada and Illinois asked out, so UW had to scramble. Ultimately, it looks a little tougher with LSU a bit of an upgrade from Illinois, though Idaho probably a little bit easier than Nevada figures to be.

The 2010 schedule is also now set as UW will play at BYU before hosting Syracuse and Nebraska. Originally, UW had a home game set with Navy for 2010, but that's another one the Huskies lost when that school decided to pull out (there are usually some sort of buy-outs written into the contracts when schools do that though I don't know the particulars in any of these cases).

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