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

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June 25, 2008 11:37 AM

Sporting News picks UW ninth in Pac-10

Posted by Bob Condotta

In our continuing series of reviewing the college football preview magazines so you don't have to, we today focus on The Sporting News College Football '08 edition.

And this isn't one that many of you may want to read, anyway, since TSN sees a long season ahead for the Huskies, picking UW ninth in the Pac-10, ahead of only the Cougars. UW is listed with a red "down'' arrow, signifying teams that TSN thinks are getting worse rather than better (though technically ninth would be better than last year's 10th place finish, though surely feeling worse and with much more program-altering ramifications).

Here are TSN's picks:

1, USC
2, Oregon
3, Arizona State
4, UCLA
5, Cal
6, Arizona
7, Oregon State
8, Stanford
9, Washington
10, Washington State

TSN predicts USC to the Rose Bowl, Oregon to the Fiesta, ASU to the Holiday, UCLA to the Sun (where Rick Neuheisel could relive some, uh, fond memories of his last appearance there), Cal to the Emerald, Arizona to the Hawaii and Oregon State to the Las Vegas.

The relatively short preview story on UW is full of pessimism opening by stating that "all indications are that (UW coach Tyrone) Willingham needs a bowl bid to save his job. At the very least, Husky watchers believe he needs a 6-6 record, with a strong finish and a victory over Washington State. With Washington's schedule and talent, six wins won't be easy --- let alone a bowl bid.''

TSN also states that "there are no proven playmakers beyond quarterback Jake Locker'' and that "look for rookies to play early and often. Of course, if you're relying on freshmen to win games, defeat cannot be far away.''

And noting the spring injury to Juan Garcia, TSN writes that if Garcia's career is over "the Huskies are in trouble. Big trouble.''

TSN unveils only one All-Pac-10 Team (meaning only a first team, not a second team or third team, etc.) and no Huskies are named (Rudy Carpenter is the QB).

In its "Rating the Players'' segment for the Pac-10, Locker is awarded the title of "Best Running QB.'' Incoming TE Kavario Middleton is also named as the "Top Impact Freshman'' while UW is given the honor of "Best Mascot.''

In the "Game to Watch'' segment of the UW preview, the home contest against Notre Dame is highlighted, and noting that Willingham will get his second shot at ND since being fired, the magazine comments that "the hype will exceed the significance.''

Otherwise, the Huskies don't receive much mention other than the obligatory rating of Willingham as the top of the list of "Coaches on the Hot Seat.'' The comment under a picture of Willingham, with flames superimposed, states that "there's too much in Seattle --- facilities, administrative support, recruiting base --- to not compete for Pac-10 titles. Much less, not play in bowl games.''

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