The Washington Huskies have work to do.
But, at the very least, it appears their Pac-12 performances are beginning to be noticed.
On Tuesday evening, 3-0 UW landed at No. 22 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings — two days after earning a No. 23 ranking in both the Associated Press and coaches polls. The Pac-12 was also represented by No. 20 USC (3-0) and No. 23 Oregon (3-1). It’s the first time the Huskies have appeared in the CFP poll since the end of the 2018 season.
Unsurprisingly, the CFP rankings were led by No. 1 Alabama (8-0), No. 2 Notre Dame (9-0), No. 3 Clemson (8-1) and No. 4 Ohio State (4-0.)
UW is scheduled to host Stanford inside Husky Stadium at 1 p.m. on Saturday, before traveling to meet rival Oregon in Eugene on Dec. 12. Should the Huskies win both games, they’ll represent the North Division in the Pac-12 title game on Dec. 18.
At which point, Jimmy Lake’s team would expect to leap up the CFP rankings.
“It just goes to show you that it’s a beauty contest,” Lake said last week, when asked about the Pac-12’s poor showing in the initial CFP rankings. “If you go to a beauty contest, there’s a lot of beautiful people there and it’s probably hard to decide which one is the most beautiful. So we don’t worry about this. This is a thing that is out of our control. What we can control is trying to win the Pac-12 championship. That’s what we can control. And right now, the next step toward that is playing our opponent on Saturday. That’s all our team can worry about, all our staff can worry about.
“I get it. It’s college football. The fans love to look at rankings and who’s ranked this and who’s ranked that, and I get the drama of it all. If at the end of the year we are holding up that trophy with an immaculate record there, then I will definitely answer that question.”