Bill Connelly names Washington's Kalen DeBoer his midseason coach of the year
Bill Connelly has Washington’s Kalen DeBoer as his midseason coach of the year.
Connelly’s predictive model, SP+, has the Huskies ranked fourth in the country after taking down Oregon 36-33 at home in Week 7. Washington is 6-0 to begin the year and looking like one of the favorites to make it to the College Football Playoff. In a midseason reaction piece for ESPN on Sunday, Connelly had Air Force’s Troy Calhoun, Duke’s Mike Elko, Oregon’s Dan Lanning, and James Madison’s Curt Cignetti also in consideration.
But DeBoer got the top spot. His reasoning was simple:
The Huskies were supposed to be good. They weren’t supposed to be the story of the first half of the season.
Led by Michael Penix Jr., the Huskies have roared to a 6-0 start. They’ve blasted the teams they were supposed to handle, and they’ve passed every test put in front of them.
Early-season road game against a Big Ten team? No problem.
Tough road game against Arizona? Issues, but UW handled them.
A top-10 showdown for the first time in series history against Oregon with every eye of college football fixed on Seattle and a Husky Stadium-record number of NFL scouts on hand for a game with far-reaching implications? Washington didn’t look afraid of the moment.
Washington was No. 1 in Saturday Out West’s preseason Pac-12 Power Rankings, and they were a trendy team in the preseason to make some noise, but the Huskies have blown most early expectations out of the water.
Those in Seattle thought this team wasn’t getting enough love. Those who watched Washington closely a year ago thought UW could surprise people. Those who looked at the lack of draft picks in the most recent NFL Draft and ignored why have been treated to a nice little surprise.
Washington has made its case as one of the best teams in the country this season, and if it continues to play like it, DeBoer has a good shot at taking home some Coach of the Year awards when it’s all said and done.