Are Washington and Washington State the new big powers in the Pac-12 North after stomping Oregon and Stanford to a 4-0 beatdown? Or do you see this as the beginning of an age of parity?
Taylor Henry: Washington State lost to Eastern Washington to start the year, and now we're talking about them being a new perennial power in the North? Oregon is going downhill in a hurry, and Helfrich is going to be gone soon, but as long as Shaw stays at Stanford they'll be really good. Peterson is a great coach, and Washington is for real, but let's not go calling Pullman a new power in the conference just yet.
Simeon Moses: Too early to tell either way. The stomping Stanford and Oregon both took in the last few weeks are more reflective of their defenses than of Washington or Wazzu dominance. Stanford has injury issues and Oregon's defense is just terrible. A few more games need to be played before we can crown new kings.
Ryan Larson: Washington is the going to be a legit contender in the Pac-12 going forward. Chris Petersen is a great coach and a great recruiter. He's moved past Oregon in Rivals' recruiting rankings and is just below the LA schools and Stanford who all recruit at an elite level. With all the talent already in Washington, expect the Huskies to be around the top of the Pac-12 for a while.
On the other hand, I laughed out loud when I saw Washington State thrown in here as well. The Cougars recruit worse than everyone in the Pac-12 except Colorado. Mike Leach gets a lot out of his recruits, but the ceiling for Wazzu feels much more limited. And in case you forgot, THEY LOST TO FREAKING EASTERN WASHINGTON.
Jack Follman: The age of parity is definitely hitting the North after a few years of feasting in the South. The Washington schools proved that by both squashing both of the recent North powers who have dominated the conference. That doesn't mean either are instant powers, but Washington (against now questionable competition), sure looks the part in the long and short-term. They have to show they can avoid the hiccups like they had in non-marquee games (particularly on the road) like they did against Arizona to truly make this happen, but I think they can. With Washington State, I don't see them as a power, but having an elite quarterback is gold in college football right now, so as long as they have Luke Falk and at least a presentable defense, they are going to test 10 wins.
Nico Gervasoni: I see Washington as being the new Pac-12 king after inheriting the throne from Stanford and Oregon. I don't think Washington State will be a perennial power, but they will continue to be good with the occasional 10 win season as long as Leach is there. I fear for Oregon more than I do for Stanford; I think this is just a down year for the Cardinal, and they will be good to great since Shaw is a great recruiter and coach. Oregon could fall off in a hurry since the defense needs a massive rebuild and could be really bad for awhile.
Patrick Flower: WSU doesn't often get positive praise moving from season to season because their successes aren't sustained. That affects perception and why WSU is, rightfully so, questioned moving from season to season. WSU did win 10 games per season between 01-03 and I think that would qualify them as an early 00s power. It's probably the only time they could have been considered one other than the late 1920s/early 1930s. There is definitely no example of a WSU dynasty, which I think holds a higher distinction than power. With Leach, it's not far fetched to think some of those years could link together and WSU be a yearly contender in the North for a period of time.
It's hard to question Washington looking built for sustained success as a power in the North and as a challenger for the conference title so long as they're coached by Chris Peterson. They arrived a year earlier than expected and are still a young team. Look at their 2-deeps. It sets up well for the next few years.
History says WSU won't be a power. While there are plenty of games left to play this year, I say if Falk starts again in 2017 there is no reason WSU couldn't flirt with 10 wins in 3 straight seasons. Beyond that, WSU's staying power is anyone's guess. I will (for obvious reasons) be highly interested to find out who WSU's QB of the future is when Falk leaves.
Gabey Lucas: Pretty much everything I would wanna say has already been said. I think WSU could be up there and an above average team but it's unrealistic at least now to see them consistently hitting 10+ wins year after year. Agree about Washington. Also about this just being a hiccup year for Stanford while Oregon's slide could be much bigger.