BY SPNW Staff 09:25AM 01/10/2017

Huskies finish No. 4 in AP and coaches polls

Washington finished No. 4 in both the Associated Press and coaches polls released Tuesday, but were leapfrogged in the final rankings by the USC Trojans, who ended at No. 3..

Coach Chris Petersen’s Huskies finished No. 4 both polls. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest file

The University of Washington finished No. 4 in the final Associated Press and coaches college football polls released Tuesday, but were leapfrogged in both by the USC Trojans, who finished third behind No. 1 and new national champion Clemson, which defeated No. 2 Alabama 35-31 Monday night in the national championship game in Tampa.

The Huskies, who lost to the Crimson Tide in the national semifinals Dec. 31 in the Georgia Dome, received 1,277 votes in the Associated Press poll. Clemson collected 1,500, Alabama 1,440 and USC 1,292. The Trojans, who defeated Penn State in the Rose Bowl and handed Washington (12-2) its only loss of the regular season, jumped from No. 7 in the final regular-season poll.

Washington’s No. 4 final AP ranking is its highest since the Huskies ended at No. 3 following the 2000 season.

Three other Pac-12 Conference schools finished in the AP Top 25: No. 12 Stanford (730), No. 17 Colorado (585) and No. 23 Utah (222). Washington State dropped out of the rankings, finishing with one vote.

The coaches poll also had Clemson at No. 1, Alabama at No. 2, USC at No. 3 and Washington at No. 4, which was where the Huskies were ranked heading into the national semifinals. USC moved up four spots from No. 7. The Trojans beat the Huskies at Husky Stadium 26-13.

The coaches placed Colorado at No. 13, Stanford at No. 15 and Utah at No. 17. The coaches ranked all FBS schools, placing Washington State No. 38.

ESPN Tuesday published a “Way-Too-Early 2017 Top 25,” in which Washington was ranked No. 8 behind Alabama, Florida State, Penn State, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma State.

The Huskies agaiin have an easy non-conference slate with a road game at Rutgers and home games against Montana and Fresno State. The Huskies won’t play USC next year and draw Utah and Washington State at home.


  • Husky73

    Losing lots of offensive firepower and defensive ferocity. Maybe a step back next year.

    • Bayview Herb

      I disagree. OK we lose Ross, but we have others to plug in. Peterson is like the long rein of Don James, who it is claimed didn’t rebuild, just reloaded.

  • 1coolguy

    This is an excellent and fair top four. USC (I hate USC) deserves to skip over us, given beating us at home later in the season. Looks like I’m buying my PAC-12 championship airfare for a UW – USC brawl!

  • Effzee

    #4 seems about right to me. I don’t expect much drop-off because there was never much drop-off at Boise. They got to a level, and pretty much stayed there. The one thing I have concern about is Browning’s ceiling. I do not worry about drop-off, he’s going to end up the most prolific passer in school history. But, how many QBs did Petersen put into the NFL from Boise State? Browning was going to go to Boise, then followed Coach Pete here. Meaning, he was a Mountain West level recruit. I just wonder if Browning’s ceiling is not as high as we might hope it is. Also, we need a tall, stud WR. Go Dawgs!

    • Jamo57

      I can’t even begin to count the number of national championship teams that were quarterbacked by players that either never went on to the NFL or never amounted to much. I think Browning can be as good as any QB at the college level. The OL was the position group needing to improve given how the USC and Alabama games went. And considering they had a true sophomore at LT and a true freshman at RG, there is upside there. But that’s where the athleticism and strength need to keep improving. UW won’t be held back because of Browning, in my opinion.

      • Effzee

        I don’t think they will be held back by him, necessarily. I just wonder about his upside.

        • Jamo57

          I do too to a certain extent. Arm strength, for one thing, which seemed to decrease towards the end of the season. Hopefully another year or two of physical maturity will help with getting through the season at a consistent level. But he doesn’t seem to have an NFL arm. (I hear the Bothell HS QB does though).

          As to upside, maybe go into coaching after his career is over (Pete’s OC in 5 or 6 years?). Or he can move on the ESPN college football coverage. Bristol is full of college QBs who couldn’t survive at the next level. ;-)

          • Effzee

            Also, yes to your previous OL statement. That’s where it all begins.

  • Comrade C-attle

    I’m glad the playoffs replaced these polls. They never made sense to begin with. A top 3 team should never lose 52-6, no matter when that game occurred (let’s not forget USC gave up 49 points to a Penn State team that lost 49-10 to Michigan). As for UW, 4 is really high, especially for a team that beat no team of note this season and were completely undone by Alabama.

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