If you hadn’t heard, the Huskies have a football game in a few days. It feels a little bit weird, huh? It does to me too. Usually at this time of year, my attention has turned to recruiting and neglecting the fact that my team isn’t in a bowl game but not this year! This will be the first Huskies bowl game I’ll be able to watch since I was 12 years old. That alone is reason to celebrate.
But, what kind of celebration will take place on Thursday night depending on the outcomes. The Dawgs are heavy underdogs to a team that already beat them by 35 points this year. Yes, the Huskies played probably their worst game of the year (Stanford aside) but they were clearly outmatched by a physical, fast Nebraska team. Is it reasonable to expect a win? I’m not so sure. But, is it reasonable to expect the Huskies to be competitive? Yes.
Here are 3 possible outcomes for the Huskies and what they’d mean to the program and fans:
- A blowout loss: This outcome isn’t out of the question at all. A loss by 21 points or more would be frustrating but, it wouldn’t be all that surprising. We already saw it happen once. With that being said, it would diffuse a lot of the momentum the Huskies have. Just 2 years ago, the Huskies were 0-12 and the football program was dead. Now, they’re in a bowl game (and to think that Cougar fans are happy with Paul Wulff winning 2 games). This amazing resurgence would be put under a blanket if the Huskies were blown out. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but people who doubt Sark’s ability to fully turn the program around will come out of the hiding they’ve been under for the last month. Remember, Arizona was blown out in the Holiday Bowl last year. I remember watching that game and thinking about how Arizona fans must have been feeling at the time. They must have been disgusted. But, I bet that disgust didn’t last long. So, again, this outcome would be upsetting and annoying but, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
- A close loss: This is where fans start to disagree. We can all agree that a blowout loss would be disappointing and a win would be great but, a close loss? There are a few different view points. One thing you might hear some fans say is, ” They’ve had a month to prepare, anything short of a win is unacceptable” Frankly, this is a dumb perspective. Yes, the Huskies had a month to prepare but so did the Cornhuskers. I don’t like moral victories but this is one game where I actually believe they exist. A close loss to Nebraska shows a good deal of improvement. We could earn the respect of a good opponent and put some fear into them before next year’s match-up. Most of all, it would show a national audience that a once proud tradition is on it’s way back. This outcome is the one that reflects where the Huskies are, as a program, most of all.
- A win: Bob Condotta said in a chat today that if the Huskies won it would be one of the biggest upsets since the Whammy in Miami. At first, you might think that this sounds a little over the top, but think about it. A win on Thursday gives the Huskies their first 4 game winning streak since 2001. That is amazing to think about. It would give the Huskies their first bowl win since the 2001 Rose Bowl. It would provide all kinds of momentum heading into next year. And, I would actually have a new trophy to look at when I went into the Husky hall of fame next year.
Yes, the fact that I have the opportunity to write and look forward to a Husky football game at this point are enough for me. I understand why they aren’t for some people, but it’s all about perspective in my opinion and the fact that the Dawgs’ are in San Diego right now is pretty amazing when we take a minute to think about it. But, the game has to be played and that outcome could mean quite a bit heading in to the off-season.