Two years ago Washington won the Pac-12 and advanced to the College Football Playoffs. The Huskies hung in there with Alabama in the semi-finals before the Crimson Tide pulled away 24-7 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

On Sept. 1 Washington returns to Atlanta–this time at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium–to open the season with Auburn. Trust me when I tell you that this is a MONSTER game for Chris Petersen’s team. In fact,  it’s a HUGE game for the entire Pac-12 conference, which hopes to get back into the playoffs. If the Huskies can fly 2,600 miles and beat Auburn, the defending SEC West champions, just two hours from the Tigers’ campus, the College Football Playoff selection committee will take notice.

The elements are all there for Washington, the Pac-12 favorite, to win the game and have a big, big year:

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