Team preview: Washington

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(All information as of June 20, 2007)


Washington emerged as one of college football's surprise teams last season after completing a 4-1 September with an impressive 21-10 victory at Arizona.

The wins didn't come against inferior competition in those glorified-controlled scrimmages many
other BCS conference programs play against I-AA programs, either. The victims included San Jose State, which finished 8-4 and played in a bowl game, Fresno State and UCLA while Washington played valiantly in a loss to Oklahoma.

However, some hard luck ended head coach Tyrone Willingham's efforts to return Washington to a bowl game for the first time since 2002. The Huskies dropped back-to-back games in overtime to Cal after giving USC all it could handle before falling 26-20, and that was just about it.

Just about it became officially done when Washington suffered without debate its most disappointing defeat in the Willingham era, 20-3 at home against Stanford on Nov. 11. It would be the lone win of the season for the Cardinal. After the game, Willingham said, "You always get that question: 'Is it a step back?' In this case, I have to say, 'Yes, it is.' I felt like this was a ballgame that we could win and then we could position ourselves to go into next week and still have a chance at a bowl-eligible season. We didn't respond."