University of Washington football fans should feel great so far this season as game-days expect to end with a Huskies’ win. It’s more than reasonable to believe that for the rest of the year, the Dawgs will remain undefeated, putting them in contention for the final football playoff at the end of the collegiate football season.
While the Dawgs steamrolled through the Colorado Buffaloes in a 37-10 win last week, the rankings released a day later didn’t bump the Huskies up into the top four. It’s head-scratching since Penn State, USC, and the University of Oklahoma teams all struggled in their wins during the same weekend against weaker opponents, while remaining in the top five. Although it might go against their nature, Dawgs should tune into the Cougars’ game Friday night as they take on the USC Trojan. They should also root for a Coug win.
The Huskies’ rival for the number one spot in the PAC-12 is the USC Trojans. Both teams are currently on track for the conference championship game as UW shouldn’t be expecting a loss for the rest of the year.
The Cougars are in a good position this year to make a name for themselves heading into the middle of their football season. They’re ranked as the sixteenth best team and are looking for a big win on their home turf. If the Cougars win, the Trojans are bumped out of the top five in the national rankings and opens up the runway for the Huskies to replace the Southern California school.
The Huskies have so far cleared their opponents, and while their arguably easier schedule leaves room for some doubt about ability, their convincing win against the veteran-laden Buffaloes should propel them as the true powerhouse in the PAC-12. Not only is their running game on a roll, the supposedly depleted Husky defense has started the year strong, only allowing 47 total points across four games this season.
It would be a tall task for the Cougars to beat the Trojans. However, the Trojans are away from home, and they’ve struggled on offense this year.
With a Coug win, the Huskies gain some breathing room. It creates a bit of chaos in the PAC-12 South and leaves Utah in the lead for the top spot of the division. The USC Trojans would be left distraught and disoriented, and they would not have any time to recover from a disappointing loss against the Cougs. On their game lineup in the next three weeks, they face two ranked opponents, making for a stressful schedule as they attempt to get back on track after the upset.
The Huskies’ lighter schedule gifts them the chance of an 11-win season heading into the Apple Cup. This year they will be playing on their home turf in Seattle, nearly guaranteeing a Dawg win. From there, it means that the Huskies could be left with a one-loss opponent in the PAC-12 championship game which would be the easy ticket to the national playoff at the end of the year. Husky fans are hoping for an early start to what’s already asked by every Husky fan, every year: a mid-season Trojan breakdown. Friday night, Husky fans should consider tabling their rivalry with the Cougs for just this once, and cheer them on.
The Husky game against the Oregon State Beavers is still important too, and by all means watch it. Look for the Huskies to build on a strong offensive performance from the Colorado game last week.