By Derek Johnson
Race Bannon wrote a post earlier today on our message boards. "We looked like we belonged out there size-wise," he said. "It was noticeable live. Glad I went.
"We're a lot closer than I thought.
"Petersen is recruiting and developing. The last 15 years we're losing this game "by 50 or 60 points and look like midgets.
"Not the case anymore. Getting there this year is huge. The players can feel what it takes for the next step."
It's an oft-told story, but when Don James arrived at Washington in 1975, he showed USC game film to his newly-assembled staff. He told them that that was the standard to which Washington must rise to win the Pac-8 Conference title.
What we saw last Saturday was the modern day gold standard for our Dawgs. Playing Alabama and being able to measure ourselves against the nation's best will pay dividends in the future.
Some questions linger. Like will Petersen hire another consultant to serve as training wheels for offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith?
And is Petersen too married to the Kellen Moore Model of winning football? Several times during the Peach Bowl, commentator Gary Danielson suggested that Washington needed to test Alabama deep.
Alabama's defensive prowess notwithstanding, what Danielson didn't take into account was that Jake Browning, for all his good qualities, doesn't have a strong arm or composure in the face of a fierce pass rush. The odds of a deep ball being intercepted were probably 30-40%, using Derek Johnson Metrics. (Patent Pending)
The name Jacob Eason popped into my noggin a couple times during the game. Could his strong arm have made a difference?
The off-season should be a lively one on our message boards. If you haven't experienced them before, come take a look.