What This Game Means

I got home about an hour ago and turned on the end of the abysmal UCLA-Arizona game.  Earlier in the game, these two teams got into a brawl.  Arizona killed UCLA, and there will be another Pac-12 coach fired by the time we all roll out of bed in the morning.  Yes, the Huskies play Arizona next week but this game didn’t really catch me by surprise and I wasn’t concerned about the outcome.  What did interest me was the announcers ripping the Washington Huskies apart.

Reece Davis, the play-by-play guy, said that the Stanford-Washington game was intriguing this weekend.  I thought, “Hey Reece, thanks!”  That was quickly shot down by Jesse Palmer and Craig James.  Palmer and James, not wanting anyone to tune into Saturday’s game, said a few things about how Washington had to hold on just to beat Eastern Washington, had to score 3 4th quarter touchdowns against Nebraska to make it look close, and was losing to Cal in the 3rd quarter.  I’m not going to say that he’s wrong about any of those things but, having watched this team play 6 more games than I’m sure Palmer or James have, I can tell you that he’s a bit misleading.

The Eastern game is what it is, but what do the Huskies have to do to prove that it was apparition?  If you’ve watched any of the 5 games since you could easily tell that was the outlier.  The Nebraska game got ugly at the start of the 4th quarter because of the Huskies not responding to adversity AND because of some poor officiating.  To their credit, the Dawgs still made a game out of it and their offense was very good against what some consider a good defense.  When the Huskies played Cal, the Golden Bears were a completely different team than they have been in the last 6 halves that they’ve played.  They had an offense that was functioning and Maynard could actually hit a target.

That’s without acknowledging how much this team has improved.  The Huskies have clearly gotten better throughout the season, something Palmer wouldn’t say since he doesn’t watch this team.

As if he hadn’t said enough about a team he doesn’t know about, James circled the game @Washington as one of Arizona’s more winnable games.  Of course,

Woof! Woof!

its winnable but he sure sounded confident in it happening.  Reece Davis sounded surprised and then James backtracked a little bit.  It was all fairly annoying.

I guess that all of this frustrating me so much just goes to show how far the Huskies have come.  3 years ago I would have been thrilled with any positive attention but now I get annoyed with someone talking bad against our Dawgs.  When I think about it, maybe the Huskies haven’t done all that much.  The Huskies have been hurt by teams falling apart after playing them.  I can guarantee you that the EWU, Hawaii, and probably Cal played their best games against the Dawgs.  They have been different teams since.  But, that doesn’t change the fact that we haven’t played against a team with a winning record.

All that changes on Saturday.  The Huskies face what’s arguably their toughest test this season will bring.  Stanford is really good.  They are just physically dominating, like the U-Dub teams of the early ’90’s.  If the Huskies get pasted, which is a possibility, the Dawgs will continue to not get national respect.  If they put up a fight or, dare I say it, win then the Huskies will be back on the college football scene.

That’s the reason this game is the biggest Husky game in a decade.  That’s the reason I haven’t been able to concentrate on my own life as well this week.  And that’s the reason why I got a little upset with the ESPN guys when they disregarded the Huskies.

Tomorrow at this time the Good Guys’ will have their predictions up and Stanford will be the popular choice.  But, it’s about what happens on the field on Saturday.  Lets hope that the Huskies show up and burst back on to the national scene so Palmer, James and other talking heads won’t bash us for no apparent reason.  As we climb the mountain (as Sark says), the next step is Stanford.  But, it’s more than just Stanford, it’s respect.

-Andrew

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