We have all heard it. We haven't been recruiting well. But what does it mean for us? Where are we headed?
Let's take a look.
Here is an image of the median recruiting ratings from 247 for the four PAC-12 teams which will be heading to the BIG next year.
We can see that in 2023, UW was in last place out of the four teams. This is in contrast to 2019, where UW was top of the pack. Over the next few years, UW dropped the ball, whereas USC, Oregon, and even UCLA picked up the pace. Now UW is in fourth place among newcomers to the BIG.
This then leads us to the question - where would these teams place among the BIG teams.
First, lets focus on 2019.
We can see that UW is right up there, only behind Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State. Not at the top but respectable. Encouraging, because we know that it can be done.
This stands in stark contrast to 2023.
Not surprisingly, Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State still outrecruit us. Also not surprisingly, Oregon and USC have out recruited us. However, Michigan State and UCLA have also outrecruited us in 2023, placing us? 8th in the new BIG.
If we take a look at the median rankings for 2023 (easier to see on the picture with school labels on 2019), we can see that there are two main groups of schools. Competitive teams are scattered throughout the top, and the other non-competitive teams are all grouped together at the bottom. UW either at the very bottom of the competitive group or at the very top of the non-competitive teams.
On one hand, we are clearly going to have to rebuild after this year. Our very talented group stayed together for one last hurrah. But after this year, it is very uncertain where the future will take us. Much of the talent either graduates or has already transferred. Our lack of recruiting may come to bite us in the ass. Which again, may be okay if we were just focused on rebuilding, but with the change in scenery, there is much more on the line - establishing our pecking order in the new conference.
A silver lining is that in this new era of NIL, turnarounds can be very quick, and mistakes can be quickly rectified. With the right plan in place, we can easily become a contender in one of the two premiere CFB conferences. Perhaps it is more lucrative to take transfers of proven players versus paying exorbitant amounts of money to unproven high school kids. However, either way, the problem remains - we? need talent.
However, if the plan fails, in our current position we may easily be relegated into becoming an also-ran in this new giant football conference.
Now is always important, but some nows are yet even more so. Here's hoping that Dannen/DeBoer is the ticket that will keep Husky football relevant for the years to come.