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August 3, 2012
Today UDUBNation.com takes a look at each of the 12 games on the Huskies' schedule. Some make the case that debates over scheduling are overblown, but where games fall on the calendar can be crucial to a team's success. This will be a two part series broken down into the first and second halves of the season. That's appropriate given how different the first half and back half are.
Remember, these are not game breakdowns. This is simply an analysis of the scheduling format and what it could mean for the Huskies.
September 1, San Diego State
In spite of their losses San Diego State should field a quality, competitive team, so it may be a good thing that this game is early and at home. It's easy to make the case that you would prefer to start the season at home. Washington will be replacing a good number of starters on both sides of the ball and the home crowd edge to start the year is bound to help.
Most importantly, the home crowd could really help the defense, which is expected to show a lot more looks this season. The Aztecs have a senior quarterback but their defense is young and could get rattled in a tough environment so early in the year.
September 8, at LSU
This game wouldn't be easy regardless of where or when it's played. Heading into Death Valley is an especially difficult chore. Night games are almost an impossible chore.
LSU sits atop the Coaches' Poll to start the season for a good reason. They should be able to sleepwalk through their season opener the week before against North Texas, so they will probably be well-prepared for the Huskies.
September 15, Portland State
The Huskies are very fortunate here. Had there been a tough game in this slot there could have been a difficult situation. Losing big in Baton Rouge could be deflating, but an upset win would also make the team prone for a letdown in the euphoria of shocking the world. A game against Portland State probably means the Huskies will be able to survive even a very poor performance.
September 27, Stanford
This works out rather well for the Huskies. No doubt, the Stanford game is a swing game. Here we see the preseason No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the North square off.
You love to see this as a home game if you're a Washington fan. As a Thursday night game, both teams will have plenty of time to prepare. Stanford will be coming off a tough game against Southern Cal, while Washington will be coming off Portland State. Both teams should be 2-1 and will have been tested already.
October 6, @ Oregon
This is going to be a tough no. There's just no getting around it. Aside from the fact that the Ducks are favored to win the North and field an impressive team, it's on the road and comes after what should be a hard-fought game at Stanford.
Meanwhile, Oregon should be 5-0 heading into the game, with Washington being their toughest test to that point. There is a chance the Ducks will not be extremely prepared given the weak competition prior to this one, but that also means they will be looking forward to it.
October 13, USC
This will be an emotionally-charged game for the Huskies and a road game that USC will certainly be wary of. Don't be surprised to see national pundits hype this as an 'Upset Alert' kind of game. It's tough for the Huskies because this game follows tough games against Stanford and at Oregon.
Meanwhile, Southern Cal will have two extra days of preparation and some rest because their game before this is a Thursday night tilt against Utah. The Trojans should be unbeaten heading into this one and could be defending a Top 3 national ranking.
The powers that be didn't do the Huskies any favors on the first half of the schedule. It's nice that Washington has some extra time to prepare for Stanford, and it's nice that such a big swing game is at home.
On the other hand, the three week nightmare that is Stanford, at Oregon and USC could make or break the team, depending on how they respond to some adversity or success.
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