Washington finished the 2022 season ranked No. 8 in ESPN’s power rankings.

The Huskies were the Pac-12’s highest-ranked team in the worldwide leader’s power ranking, sitting three spots ahead of Utah and five ahead of USC — both of whom played for the conference’s title. The Huskies went 11-2 in coach Kalen DeBoer’s first season, capping the year with a 27-20 win over Texas at the Alamo Bowl in December.

Here’s what ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura had to say on the season that was for UW:

Coach Kalen DeBoer’s climb from wildly successful NAIA coach to the Power 5 level went about as well as possible. He inherited a 4-win team on the brink of collapse just two years after Chris Petersen’s departure and led the team to an 11-2 record — and a Utah upset of USC in the Pac-12 title game away from a berth in the Rose Bowl. Under DeBoer and offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, quarterback Michael Penix Jr. — an Indiana transfer — was one of the most prolific passers in college football and will return next season when the Huskies will begin the season in the playoff conversation.

DeBoer’s immediate success at Washington was rather historic for a proud program. It was just the fifth 11-win season in program history. Never before had Washington won more than eight games under a first-year head coach, and UW had never won a bowl game in a head coach’s debut season.

Penix broke the program’s single-season passing yards record, finishing the year with 4,641 to lead the country. The previous record of 4,458 yards, set by Cody Pickett in 2002, had stood for 20 years. Pickett and Penix are the only two Huskies to surpass 4,000 yards in a season. Penix’s year was also the fifth-best by a Pac-12 thrower in league history.

Penix’s return for the 2023 campaign also sets UW up for continued success. Washington is a trendy top-10 pick in way-too-early rankings for next season.

The Huskies will be tested next year, though. After missing both of the top teams from the now-defunct South this past season, UW will face both in 2023. They have road games against Michigan State and USC on the docket as well as home tilts with Utah and Oregon.