Washington was one of five Pac-12 teams ranked in the preseason AP top-25 poll released Monday morning. The Huskies debuted at No. 13.
Oregon was ranked just ahead of UW at No. 11 while Utah — the preseason favorite to win the conference — came in at No. 15. Washington State was 23rd and Stanford was 25th. UW will play all four of those teams this season, with three of the games coming at home.
Clemson was the No. 1-ranked team followed by No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Florida, No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 10 Texas.
The Huskies were also ranked No. 13 in the final AP poll of the 2018 season. They finished the year 10-4, winning the Pac-12 championship before falling to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Entering the 2019 season, UW is tasked with replacing nine starters on defense as well as two four-year starters on offense in quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin.
The Huskies open the season at Husky Stadium against Eastern Washington on Aug. 31.
“It feels like (the season) is a long way away in some ways,” UW head coach Chris Petersen said after fall practice on Sunday. “I know it will be here before we know it. It seems like we got a lot if practicing left to do to be where we want to be for that first game.
“But I will say this: this crew has worked really, really hard. It hasn’t always been as clean as we’d like it, but there hasn’t been an issue at all with any sort of effort where we’ve got to go harder and we’ve got to pick it up. We’ve been at it for a while and that’s been good. We’ve just got to get better. If they stay with the same effort and attitude and all those things, we will.”
Washington State is coming off the winningest season in school history after finishing 2018 11-2. The Cougars ended the year ranked No. 10 in the AP poll, the highest-ranked team in the Pac-12. They’ll open the season against New Mexico State on Aug. 31. Washington State will meet UW in the Apple Cup on Nov. 19 at 1 p.m.
Five Pac-12 teams were also ranked in the coaches poll that was released on Aug. 1. UW was the highest-ranked Pac-12 team in that poll at No. 12. The rest of the rankings went as follows: No. 13 Oregon, No. 15 Utah, No. 21 Washington State and No. 23 Stanford.