Doubling back to profile each of our picks in the SB Nation Conference Re-Draft ...
School: University of Washington
Colors: Purple and gold
Mascot: Harry the Husky (stuffed), Dubs (live), who has his very own blog
Location: Seattle, Wa.
Varsity Sports: 19
Football Stadium: Husky Stadium (cap. 72,500)
Basketball Arena: Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, or simply "Hec Ed" (cap. 10,000)
SBN Blog: UW Dawg Pound
On to the vitals:
TV Revenue Potential. It's somewhat difficult to explain the value of Washington to someone that lives outside of the PNW, but UDub puts the Pacific Northwest on lock in a way that Oregon never will. Seattle is the 14th largest TV market in the country and the Huskies own Seattle when it comes to college sports. And even though the Huskies play in a pro market, the school has thrived in the area. Here's Maisel on the unique relationship that the school and its sports programs have with the region:
"Even among that small cohort of older, public schools that includes a Minnesota or a Georgia Tech, the campus in the Montlake area near downtown Seattle stands apart.
The insular nature of the Pacific Northwest has proved to be one of the Huskies' greatest assets. According to Washington senior associate athletic director O.D. Vincent, nearly 70 percent of the university's 300,000 alumni live within a 100-mile radius of the campus.
"You know what the guy who has my job at Northwestern told me?" asked Vincent, who is in charge of marketing. "I met him at the [Big City Marketing] Summit. He told me of the 12 Big Ten schools, Northwestern has the 10th-largest alumni base in Chicago. In their own town, they are 10th in their conference. That's amazing. It is unique here."
Not exactly sure what it means that the Twelve Pack is home to both Washington and Northwestern, but take that as you will.
Academics. According to U.S. News and World Report, Washington is ranked 41st nationally and ranks as one of the top public schools in the country, continuing the Twelve Pack's reign on quality academics.
Co-eds. Oh, hi!
Weather/Desirability of Destination. I'm told you're pretty much guaranteed to get rainy and cold unless you come during the months of July and August (even then, it's still likely you'll end up with rainy and cold). Still, there are few cities in the country cooler than Seattle.
Historic Success. Despite its very recent football futility, Washington has the 20th best winning percentage in Division I-A college football history and the 22nd most all-time wins. It's one of the top 2-3 most accomplished football programs on the Left coast. Nevermind that 0-12 rough patch a few years ago. Nothing to see here.
Finally, to get readers a bit more familiar with the pick, we chatted with jazzaholic17, a UW student who has taken a keen interest in the Re-draft.
Commissioner: Tell us more about your football and basketball program, in 300 words or less (grad school essay style).
jazzaholic17: Barbara Hedges and Todd Turner SUCKS (that would be our two previous athletic directors).
Football: Don't let recent history fool you; we're a football school. Second most winning program on the West Coast (to $uC). Our awfulness culminated in an 0-12 season in '08 (although we still sold 41,000 non-student season tickets). Steve Sarkesian (aka Coach Sark) is currently beginning his third season our as head coach. We went 7-6 last year and our QB (Jake Locker) was drafted 8th overall. This year, RB Chris Polk looking is for his 3rd consecutive 1000 yard season. By 2013, we're expecting to be back to our early ‘90s dominance. P.S. We looove Matt Hasselbeck; he's an honorary Husky because he played in Seattle for ten years and now is mentoring Jake.
M Basketball: Washington isn't a basketball school and never will be, however... In 2002, Washington alum Lorenzo Romar was hired as (our 4th choice) coach. He stands as the only good decision Barbara Hedges ever made. Romar is known as a players coach, fatherly figure, and the coach opposing players would most like to play for. We've consistently made the NCAA tournament, and won the Pac-10 multiple times during his tenure. Our student section (The DawgPack) is pretty darn good; they get opposing players phone numbers, hold up classy but creative signs, and their chants are all either PG or go way above an 8-year-old's head. We'll give the Cameron Crazies a run for their money.
W Basketball: In 2008 we fired June Daugherty (even though she made the NCAA tourney) because our athletic director was not intelligent. Tia Jackson came in and was terrible and all we did was lose. Now we just hired Kevin McGuff, so hopefully we'll get back to our usually above average but not fantastic ways.
Commish: What is your school's best non-revenue sport? What is that program's defining moment / crowning achievement?
jazzaholic17: Men's crew. Men's crew, men's crew, men's crew. The program has been strong since the early 1900s*. Presently, we've won the team championship (Ten Eyck trophy) every year going back to at least '06, and then have won the varsity 8+ most recently this year. We seem to be really bad about winning it in undefeated years; we lost in '08 (to 12-Pac rival Wisco) after going undefeated, won in '09, went undefeated and lost in '10 (to Cal), and then this year we were undefeated until we took second to Harvard in a semi-final (intentionally) before going onto win yet another title.
Arguably, the program's most significant achievement occurred back in 1936. It used to be common practice for a college boat to represent the USA in the Olympics (Canada is trying to bring this back, haha: their men's 8+ for last year's worlds held six huskies, two current, four alums). Our Varsity 8+ went into Nazi Germany, Hitler's Olympics, and brought home gold. How cool is that?
*Our women's program also has been going strong since the early 1900s. We don't need no stinking title 9 to give women equality.
Commish: What excites you most about joining this conference?
jazzaholic17: The consistency in academics and culture throughout the conference, as well as in revenue and non-revenue sports.
Commish: If you are in Seattle for a football game, what's the #1 local spot -- bar, restaurant, attraction -- you have to visit before you leave?
jazzaholic17: Sailgating. Washington is one of two schools in the entire country where you can get to a game by boat. There are usually packages available for visiting fans to be able to eat tailgating cuisine (in our world that includes salmon, crab, shrimp cocktail, fine wine, and microbrews) as well as enjoy the festivities; all from a yacht on the water, before stepping off directly onto the UW campus and walking into Husky Stadium. Husky Stadium's set to be remodeled (www.huskystadium.com) starting in November of this year, but even without the re-do... it's beautiful. Views of the Mt. Rainier (ray-near, not rainy-er), Lake Washington, and the sounds of our superb varsity and alumni bands are included in the ticket price.
Commish: Which conference road trip are you most looking forward to and why?
jazzaholic17: Going on the basis of academic and athletic prowess across doctrines and sports, desirable climate, traffic, and political leanings, I'm going to have to go with Virginia. It's all the way across the country, but from what I hear their culture is very cohesive with Washington's. Also, it'd be great to get out there in early October when they still have nice warm weather and we've already had five+ weeks of rain and cold.
Commish: Last one. If you could pick one rap song that captures what this conference is all about, what is it?
jazzaholic17: Till I Collapse by Eminem. Our conference doesn't quit athletically nor academically. We work our asses off in the classroom, lab, field, pool, river, moon, etc. etc. Till We Collapse and become the bosses of a majority of those that inhabit the other conferences.