Going into today’s game, I already knew a blowout was at hand. I knew that Oregon State’s offensive and defensive lines were ten times better than the players we could send out there. But from the game’s opening play, I was startled by just how pathetic the Washington Huskies looked. There was no fire or confidence. On passing plays, UW quarterback Jake Locker had an average of 0.0000023 seconds to throw the ball before being engulfed by Beaver defenders.
As the game progressed, the scoring margin between the two teams began to widen like the Grand Canyon. And I began to wonder how it could ever come to pass that these two programs could be so disparate in their development. The Beavs trounced the Dawgs 48-21 and it definitely fell under the category of “The Beavers could have scored 70 had they wanted to.” The carnage left the Huskies with a 3-7 record and surrendering bowl eligibility for the 7th straight year. Talk about shellshock- Husky Nation is reeling tonight. The Beavers, meanwhile, still feel like the Rose Bowl is a possibility. And good luck to them, I say. Those guys play hard, and it’s a pleasure to watch a unit of different parts come together as a singularity and perform at a high level.
As for our beloved yet downtrodden Huskies… Entering this season nobody expected Washington to win the Pac-10 crown. But the thought was that a great season would be 6 victories. After the seemingly huge win over USC back in September, first year coach Steve Sarkisian could be heard repeatedly saying “it’s not going to take that long… We’re not that far away from being an excellent football team.”
But that early season uplift of expectations has made this present slide all the more painful. Washington has lost 4 games in a row, and 6 of its last 7. Sarkisian is no longer talking with the swagger of September; instead he’s speaking in platitudes alarmingly similiar to his pathetic predecessor, Tyrone Willingham.
Now Washington football sits wondering what has befallen it. We’re still a laughingstock that has been obliterated by two of its Northwest rivals. The questions persist as to whether Sarkisian was a panic hire by the inexperienced athletic director Scott Woodward. Should Woodward have gone after successful coaches with proven records like Gary Patterson of Texas Christian, Brian Kelly at Cincinnati or some other successful coach at a lower division school?
But Sarkisian is our guy and the jury’s still out. Looking at the appallingly weak line play, one has to give Sarkisian some sort of pass until he can bring in some legitimate Pac-10 talent to man the trenches. But it’s impossible to ignore the fact that this team is getting worse as the season wears on. Indeed, things are unraveling in a manner not dissimiliar to a Tyrone Willingham team.
Considering Washington’s 12-57 record since 2004, more and more fans just don’t care anymore. The prevailing feeling is that the University of Washington has de-emphasized football. Can Sarkisian revive the tradition? Or is it too late? Only one thing’s certain– this ain’t fun anymore.