Loyola? Albany? Colorado State? What? Who? Huh?
So, Washington is suddenly 2-3 with two home losses. Not good.
But, Washington has played what’s rated the fourth-most difficult schedule in the country. As a result, the Huskies are 18th in the RPI rankings.
It’s early. Let’s say that again: It’s early, and that applies to both the bad and good here.
The loss to Albany and being manhandled by Colorado State is obviously the bad.
The difficulty of a schedule against five teams that are a combined 22-4 at this point (The only losses for Seton Hall and Loyola were against Washington) is being reflected early as the good. Colorado State (4-0) is 8th in RPI, Ohio State (4-0) 17th, Albany (4-2) 41st, Seton Hall (5-1) 128th and Loyola (5-1) 130.
There are more challenges to come. Saint Louis, which arrives for a Wednesday night game (which starts at 9 p.m., one of the numerous ridiculous tip-off times to come this season because of the Pac-12 Network) is 21st in the RPI. UConn, which Washington travels to Dec. 29, is 3rd.
Heck, even Cal Poly will present a challenge. The Mustangs, under former Seattle University coach Joe Callero, stunned UCLA last night 70-68 in Pauley Pavilion. Cal Poly is here Dec. 20.
Washington is already 0-3 against teams with a top-50 RPI. This is a phrase hammered on during tournament selection time. Top-50 RPI wins are crucial. The Huskies will have opportunities to grab a couple before the non-conference is over. A lot (rebounding, rebounding, rebounding) has to get better before that happens. Yet, the chances are there.