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Huskies have chance to boost national standing with Arizona road trip

The Huskies didn't crack the AP Top-25 Monday. (AP)

The Washington Huskies (18-4, 9-0 Pac-12) are off to their best conference start since the 1952-53 season and are just the ninth team since the 1978-79 season to reach 9-0 in conference play. They’re in the midst of an 11-game winning streak, despite being just two-years removed from a 9-22 record.

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Still, they found themselves outside of Monday’s latest AP Top-25 poll.

Granted, there are no ranked Pac-12 teams — a reason behind the lack of national attention and votes received by the top team in the conference. And to their credit, the Huskies did get the most votes of any unranked team (135), making them the first team outside the Top-25.

Washington will need a strong showing against Arizona (14-8) on Feb. 7 and Arizona State (15-6) on Feb. 9.and Arizona State to keep their hopes alive. But 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk and Brock Huard have opposing views about about whether that will be enough.

“The country has already decided the Pac-12 is bad; that narrative has been set,” Salk said. “So I don’t really know what the Huskies can do to help their national standing. They’re going to keep winning. Other teams around the country are going to lose because of the competition they’re playing against. But this narrative has been set and I don’ t know if you can change it at this point.”

Huard, on the other hand, believes a sweep of the Arizona schools will be the boost the Huskies need.

“You win at Arizona and at Arizona State, and you have three road sweeps in conference and you go to 11-0, already at 9-0 you’re in a place where very few of your peers have been ever in conference play,” Huard said. “You start to do that, and people will notice. This will be their most difficult trip, these are two of the better teams.”