No. 9 Washington

When Chris Petersen left Boise State to become the head coach at Washington he also brought a 92-12 record and a resume which suggested he knew how to build as well as he knew how to coach.

But Boise State wasn't an On Broadway production. Oh, Boise was a rising star, but for much of the season in the Mountain West Conference, the Broncos didn't have the spotlight turned on what they were doing or how they were doing it.

Chris Petersen was happy in that environment, which is one of the reasons why he dodged offers from some Pac-12 schools and other Power 5 conferences. But when Washington called a few years ago, Peterson moved. It was the Pac-12, but it wasn't LA. It wasn't all bright lights and big city stuff. [membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

Peterson came and Washington remained in the shadows. Two years, 15-12 record.

Now it is Year 3. The Huskies have 17 starters coming off a 7-6 season. They have a schedule which starts with Rutgers, Idaho, Portland State and a Pac-12 road opener against Arizona, which is reportedly in a rebuilding mode.

Two of the challenge games--USC and Stanford are in Seattle. Petersen has built well. He has talent, including a star in waiting in WR John Ross. He has two other potential stars in QB Jake Browning and TB Myles Gaskin.

The pivotal game of the season should be on Sept. 30 when Stanford comes to town and the next week in a game against Oregon in Eugene. If the Huskies go 1-1 or 2-0, they will be off and running.

The countdown thus far: No. 16 Pepper Hamilton (Baylor), No. 15 Georgia, No. 14 Michigan State , No. 13 Miami, No. 12 Houston, No. 11 Ohio State, No. 10 Stanford [/membership]

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