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Since the UW is Scheduling, Here Are 5 Football Games We Want to See

The Huskies still haven't played 18 Power 5 schools in their history.

Since the University of Washington is in a football scheduling mode — this week adding Tennessee as a future opponent — it's time to create a Husky wish list of games that haven't happened yet and can't come soon enough.

There's a lot to choose from.

Of the 128 teams that compete at the FBS level, the UW still has not played 58, or just under half of them, over its 132 college football seasons.

Narrowing it down to Power 5 football programs only, of which there are 64 of this elite of the elite, including Washington, the Huskies haven't gone head to head with 18 big-time schools.

Most are based in the Deep South.

While the Huskies have met every one of the 14 members of the Big Ten and, of course, all of their 11 Pac-12 rivals, they still haven't tested nine Atlantic Coast Conference entries, eight from the SEC and a single outlier from the Big 12.

So with plenty of September Saturday openings available through the rest of the decade at Husky Stadium or on the road if necessary, we've picked out five opponents we'd like the UW consider as soon as possible, games that would get the TV networks excited and pack whichever football palace set aside to host them.

Georgia vs. UW

Why not begin with the best, the reigning national champs? Both schools sport canine nicknames, but they've never come close to meeting in football, though the Huskies have traveled to Atlanta, the closest hub city to UGA, to face Alabama and Auburn. In fact, the only thing these schools have shared in the fall is a starting quarterback in Jacob Eason, who initially played for the Bulldogs before transferring home to join the Huskies.

Clemson vs. UW

This South Carolina powerhouse and the UW seemingly would have a lot in common: the Orange and Purple against the Purple and Gold. National champions in 1981, 2016 and 2018, the Dabo Swinney-coached Tigers are consistently good, which the Husky fan base is yearning for in Montlake for a UW program under the new leadership of coach Kalen DeBoer.

North Carolina  vs. UW

The Huskies have not faced the Tar Heels in football, only on the basketball floor, but they've encountered the UNC coach before. A Don James-coached UW team beat Mack Brown when he headed up the Tulane Green Wave, taking a 24-12 decision in the 1987 Independence Bowl.   

West Virginia vs. UW

The UW and the Mountaineers should meet for no other reason than it enables to the Huskies to say they've played every Big 12 school. Also, current Husky basketball player Emmitt Matthews Jr., who transferred in from West Virginia for this season, would go see that game.

Florida State vs. UW

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This game should have happened 40 years ago, but the Seminoles backed out of their 1982 season opener at Husky Stadium. The ACC school said it couldn't afford the cross-country trip. If it was truthful, Bobby Bowden-coached FSU simply would have admitted it didn't want to get beat by a James team coming off a pair of Rose Bowl appearances. It stood up James in Seattle, and he was a former Seminoles assistant coach.

The Others

As college football pushes forward in the coming seasons, with potential blockbuster TV broadcasting deals demanding more and more interesting matchups among the Power 5 schools and fewer non-conference mismatches with FCS opponents, the Huskies should be able to whittle down the FBS teams they haven't tested in the regular season or in a bowl game.

They first should knock off all of the outstanding SEC teams. Besides Tennessee and Georgia, the Huskies are still waiting to face Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.  

In the ACC, besides the aforementioned Clemson, North Carolina and Florida State, the UW awaits first-time meetings with Boston College, Georgia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest

In the Big 12, providing this school stays there, West Virginia again is the only team the Huskies have missed. 

Elsewhere around the FBS, the UW has played all but three members of the 12-team Mountain West in Colorado State, New Mexico and UNLV.

In the 11-team American Athletic Conference, the Huskies have never faced six members in Central Florida, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, Temple and Tulsa.

In the 14-team Conference USA, the UW still hasn't had a football encounter with 11 schools: Alabama-Birmingham, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, USTA and Western Kentucky.

In the MAC, the Huskies have played only three of the 11 teams, missing out on Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Ball State, Buffalo and Kent State. However, Kent State, which employed Don James before he came to the UW, will serve as the opponent for Kalen DeBoer in his Husky season opener and coaching debut.

The Sun Belt is yet another conference that hasn't mixed much with the UW. The Huskies haven't faced eight of the 10 teams in Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy, and only last season hosted Arkansas State. 

Among the FBS independent teams, the Huskies have taken on Notre Dame, BYU and Army, but not Connecticut, Liberty, Massachusetts or New Mexico State.

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