How close is Washington from contending?
Posted Apr 19, 2012

From the Scout publishers, here's the inside info on the key questions this spring.


Spring 2012 - Key Questions


What's happening this spring season? Several FSN publishers provide their insider info on the key questions that matter to the real world of college football. Scroll down for the links to all the spring questions.

Q: What's the biggest thing missing – besides more defensive production – to finally turn the corner? Is the talent level up-to-snuff to have a shot at winning the Pac-12 North

From Chris Fetters, … Just having more at key positions, as well as leaders, is the big step needed to be taken. Washington is still a year away from really starting to contend consistently for Pac-12 titles, and it's because the talent just isn't deep enough in the trenches. Replacing key veterans like Cort Dennison, Alameda Ta'amu, Chris Polk, Jermaine Kearse and Senio Kelemete isn't going to help, but when you only have seven healthy scholarship offensive linemen for spring football, that's a huge concern.

What's the biggest insider storyline from this spring that the average fan should know about?

How will the five new coaches - four on defense, as well as new offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau - mesh going forward? What's a little more intriguing from an Xs and Os standpoint is that new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox will be tinkering with a 34 look instead of the staple 43 base defense that Nick Holt used over the last three years.

The D has a wealth of talent at linebacker, especially after moving Taz Stevenson and Evan Zeger from safety, but there are almost no upperclassmen to speak of and no seniors. But with Johnny Timu, Thomas Tutogi, Princeton Fuimaono, Garret Gilliland and Jamaal Kearse all seeing significant playing time in 2011, that group should lead the charge forward. But again, finding leaders in that group is going to be critical as Wilcox tries to turn UW's defensive fortunes around in a hurry.

There weren't any close losses last year; all six of the defeats came by double-digits and other than Oregon's 34-17 win in Husky stadium, all of them took place on the road or in the bowl game. So it's not the close games that concern Steve Sarkisian right now - the Huskies have been winning those. Sark is more concerned with finding answers on the defensive side of the ball to keep games close so his offense can take over late in and turn those road losses into wins.

- Is David Ash REALLY the man at Texas?
- How close is Washington from contending?
- Is it win or else for Georgia's Mark Richt?

- Is Florida's offense going to be any better?
- Will Utah's O roll with Jordan Wynn back?
- Is Washington State ready to roll under Mike Leach?
- Will Texas Tech be looking for a new coach?

- Is Texas A&M's O going to go Houston?
- Coaching aside, what's missing at Arkansas?
- Does North Carolina have any talent left?
- Is Oregon a true national title contender?
- Is the Marshall O going to be better?

- Really, who is Notre Dame's best QB option?
- What does Michigan have to do to beat Bama?
- How have things changed at Arizona State?
- Is BYU motivated as an independent?
- Does the Oklahoma D have a new attitude?
- Is Southern Miss starting from scratch?
- Is anything improving at Duke?
- Is Cal's Jeff Tedford on any real hot seat?
- Does Wisconsin have a receiving corps?
- Is SMU RB Zach Line back and healthy?
- What's Changing At ASU Under Gus Malzahn?

- Is The Nevin Shapiro Case Affecting Miami?
- How Is UCLA Different So Far Under Jim Mora?
- Will Florida State Finally Turn The Corner?
- Will Rutgers Be Better Without Greg Schiano?
- Will The Alabama Defense Be As Good As 2011?
- Can Boise State Go On Without Kellen Moore?
- Who Are Northwestern's New Offensive Weapons?
- Is Clemson Over The Orange Bowl Disaster?
- Who's The Next Great Illinois D Lineman?
- What's Changing At ASU Under Gus Malzahn?