Every preseason we take a look at potential best-case and worst-case scenarios for every Pac-10 team. While these are often tongue-in-cheek, they nonetheless represent the top and bottom we see for each team.
So it might be worthwhile to revisit each.
Next up is Washington, which finished 7-6 and beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl.
Best case: 10-3, final No. 9 ranking after beating Texas in the Alamo Bowl.
What was right: Not much, and the Jake Locker skeptics surely will want to crow. The Huskies did beat Syracuse, Oregon State and win their final three games. They did lose to Arizona and Stanford. They did win their bowl game over a Big 12 team. And Husky Stadium is being renovated.
What was wrong: Of the Huskies' first five games, only one -- Syracuse -- was projected correctly. The biggest miss, of course, was Locker's "tour de force performance" against Nebraska that inspired ESPN's Chris Fowler to say, "Guess the Locker skeptics will hush now." Er, no. There was no win at Oregon, no Heisman Trophy for Locker nor a final national ranking. And, no, Bill Gates didn't volunteer to fund a Husky Stadium renovation, which has been considerably scaled back from ambitious original models.
Worst case: 3-9.
What was right: Not a lot. An injury to Locker -- ribs -- did hamper him and cause him to miss one game, the blowout loss at Oregon. The Huskies did lose to BYU, Nebraska, Arizona, Stanford and the Ducks. They did beat Syracuse.
What was wrong: For one, the scenario is missing a game: UCLA, which was apparently projected as a win. So score one for stupid. The entire tone is off, considering the projection hangs on the Huskies being a one-man team, relying entirely on Locker. The key to the Huskies' turnaround in 2010 was becoming more than Locker. Losses to USC, Oregon State, California and Washington State were wrong. A win over Arizona State was wrong. The Huskies ended up winning a bowl game, which capped a four-game winning streak to end the season.
Conclusion: Is it just me or are both these scenarios just flat wrong? No, it's not just me. It's fair to say that the Huskies' moderately successful season -- first bowl game since 2002; first bowl win since 2000 -- played out in a way that surprised many, including me. The reality fell somewhere in the middle, and in an unanticipated way.