Why UW will be a Pac-12 threat

Washington QB Keith Price, who threw for 2,728 yards in 2012, will lead a veteran Huskies offense. Steven Bisig/US Presswire

Over the past three seasons, the Pac-12 has been a conference much like the Big Ten was in the days of Bo Schembechler's Michigan Wolverines and Woody Hayes' Ohio State Buckeyes: a couple of dominant teams at the top, followed by a group of clubs competing for third place.

In that three-year span, the Oregon Ducks and Stanford Cardinal have posted a combined overall record of 71-9, to go along with a 49-5 Pac-12 mark (with three of those losses occurring in games between the Ducks and Cardinal).

The list of leading candidates to end this conference hegemony is usually led by teams like USC, UCLA, Arizona State or Oregon State. But the Washington Huskies may actually have just as strong a chance at contending for the Pac-12 title as any team in the conference.

There are multiple reasons this claim can be made, many of which revolve around the radical differences between the Jekyll-and-Hyde portions of the Huskies' 2012 campaign.