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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Nonconference primer: Washington

By Kevin Gemmell

We continue our series taking a closer look at each Pac-12 team's nonconference schedule.

Washington

Boise State, Aug. 31
at Illinois (in Chicago), Sept. 14
Idaho State, Sept. 21
Thoughts: The big one here, obviously, is Boise State. Illinois should be better than last season, but so should the Huskies, and despite Washington's road woes, this should be categorized as a winnable game. The Boise State game means a heck of a lot to Washington's season. Obviously, it will be an electric atmosphere with the opening of remodeled Husky Stadium. As we've written a couple of times before, in the Ultimate Road Trip and Most Important Game series, what a victory could do for the Huskies on the national landscape. Accepting that Boise State will likely be a Top 25 team to start the season, a win likely puts Washington in the rankings -- where they'll stay, and likely climb as others around them lose -- heading into conference play. After Arizona, it's three straight against Stanford, Oregon and ASU. Heading into that stretch ranked and 3-0 would bring the fan base to a tizzy. A loss, however, stunts momentum, and victories over Illinois and Idaho State would be met with more of a "meh." If the Huskies want to be nationally relevant and show they are ready to take the next step, beating Boise would be a good place to start.