While you should still embrace this playoff run if you’re a Husky fan, you can probably expect to see other ones down the road.
Some like four teams, others want eight teams, a few have even called for 16. The college football playoff system can’t exist without controversy, and that will remain true amid any adjustments.
No one can say for sure what the postseason will look like in the future. But as long as Chris Petersen sticks around, the Huskies will continually be a part of it.
Surprising as this season was for Washington, there wasn’t anything fluky about it. Pollsters may not have forecast such a rapid ascension, but they recognized the talent right away.
More than anything, though, people saw what Petersen had been able to do with ho-hum recruits at Boise State and predicted a boom once he had four-star players at his disposal. Well, the boom was louder than expected…and should continue to reverberate for years.
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Seriously — the evidence that Petersen will keep Washington atop the Pac-12 for years to come is quite strong. What he was able to do in his previous job is proof enough.
Seven 10-win seasons in eight years at Boise State. Two undefeated seasons and a pair of Fiesta Bowl trophies. The consistency was up there with any program in the country…even if the talent was not.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Petersen’s run with the Broncos is that he never had a recruiting class in the top 50. In fact, three years before Boise State earned a No. 3 ranking in the Associated Press poll, it landed the 75th-best recruiting class in the country.
At some point, you have to acknowledge that Petersen and his staff know how to coach up his players in a way few others can. The difference is — now, all the high school players are starting to notice.
It’s safe to say Washington’s national exposure this year played a huge role in the Huskies’ recruiting process. After getting the 37th best recruiting class in 2015, they have the 25th best class according to Rivals coming in next year, and you have to figure it will only get better. Not only are star players seeing they can compete for a national title if they play for the Huskies, they’re seeing they can get a lot better if they play for Petersen.
Football is a sport where it’s common for the under-the-radar recruits to surpass the A-listers as they improve. Just look at this year’s Pro Bowl selections as proof. Of the 80 players selected to play in the game, 45 were 3-star recruits or lower, including Richard Sherman, Aaron Rodgers, and Von Miller.
Big-time high school athletes generally have two questions on their mind when picking where they want to play: 1) Where can I win? 2) Where can I develop into an NFL-caliber player?
And considering the Huskies are ranked fourth in the country and have six of the top 100 NFL prospects (according to NFLDraftScout.com), Petersen has the credibility to answer both questions with “Washington.”
It’s not just about getting the talent, though. It’s about getting the right kind of talent. There’s never really any signing day drama with Petersen’s recruiting classes, as his type of athletes tend to abstain from all the media hype. You get the feeling Chris would gladly take the 20th-ranked class over the fifth-ranked class if the 20th had more coachable players.
Because it’s pretty clear this man can coach.
One telling stat about Petersen’s time at Boise is that, in the five seasons the Broncos won the WAC, they won four bowl games (and the one they lost was by one point). Perhaps it’s a small sample size, but it tends to illustrate that Petersen teams are well-prepared and focused during a time in the season when many teams aren’t.
There just isn’t a lot of letdown with Petersen’s teams, and that’s a byproduct of the man leading them. So while you should still embrace this playoff run if you’re a Husky fan, you can probably expect to see others ones down the road.