Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian was asked a few times this week about the strength Pac-12 Conference. He’s said from top-to-bottom, he thinks it’s as good as he’s seen.
Sarkisian was also asked if he thinks the conference is being noticed nationally, and answered that it’s not just the West Coast voting for Washington or other Pac-12 schools in the top-25 polls.
For Washington, this was the first week each AP voter put them on a ballot. Among the last voters to do so, and tied with one other voter for giving Washington its lowest ranking, is Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News. He ranked Washington 24th and just put it into his poll this week.
Same with Ed Johnson of the Albuquerque (NM) Journal. He has the Huskies 24th and just voted them in this week.
Five voters — Bob Asmussen of the Champaign News-Gazette, Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune, Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg (FL) Times, Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free-Press and Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News — have had Washington ranked every week, including the preseason. Just one West Coast guy in that group.
Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has a careening ballot and his voting for the Huskies shows that. He didn’t rank Washington in the preseason. After the Huskies beat Boise State, he ranked them eighth. Yes, eighth. This week, he has them ranked 11th, which is the highest on any ballot.
Wilner has moved Washington up to 12th. As has Gary Horowitz of the Salem (Or.) Statesman Journal.
Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman has Washington 15th.
As far as East Coast voters go, Andy Staples (listed as based in New York City because that’s where SI.com is) has Washington 17th. Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh-Post-Gazette has the Huskies 16th.
We can see that its a couple West Coast voters who think the least of Washington. The Huskies do well in middle America and about average on the East Coast.
At this point, Washington has just about everyone paying attention. As does the Pac-12, since it has five teams in the top 25.