Washington Huskies Put All Their Eggs In One Basket

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Placing all your eggs in one basket.

Living based on hope and expectation.

However you slice or define it, this season has been a disappointment for the Washington Huskies.

And, yes, without putting too fine a point on it, the expectation basket in which the Huskies have placed their hopes is otherwise known as Jacob Eason.

In many ways, the story of Eason is the story of college football.

Absolute star quarterback in high school, considered one of the nation’s best, foregoes playing for the hometown team—UW—in favor of leaving home to test his mettle on a bigger stage.

Sound anything like the hero’s journey you may have studied in high school? Or the prodigal son you may have heard about in bible study or a Sunday sermon?

Much like in those ancient examples, things didn’t exactly work out the way he or anyone thought they would for Eason.

The bigger stage he went to is, of course, the University of Georgia. You may know that Georgia is a member of the Southeastern Conference, or, the SEC. You may also know that the SEC is considered the biggest, baddest, toughest conference in all of college football. It’s where the best and the brightest go to play. The Special Forces, the Green Berets, the best of the best. Choose your analogy.

But things didn’t work out in the Peach State, and Eason returned home to Washington. If his tail was not exactly between his legs, it was something close to that.

Eason never met his potential in the SEC, but he also didn’t squander all of his promise.

The Huskies were all too happy to have him back, like the spurned lover who gets back together with an old flame and thinks that things will still somehow work out.

Instead of putting their time and effort (and money) into developing someone else, the Huskies focused on Eason.

He was viewed as something of a savior. The heir apparent to the impossibly high standards put in place by Jake Browning, who is statistically perhaps the best quarterback the Huskies have ever had.

Instead, the Huskies find themselves as utterly irrelevant, their offense all but lifeless under Eason.

Luckily for him, and because of the way that college and pro football work, Eason can move up to the next level and there is almost nothing to suggest that he won’t have a long and successful career there.

And next year, the Huskies can start anew with another quarterback and hope things work out better.

Now, this is all assuming that Eason decides to forgo his remaining eligibility at the college level in favor of going pro. 

In fact, he’s got nothing to lose by doing so. Would you stick around for another year of college and risk injury, when you’ve got agents dangling millions of dollars in signing bonuses in front of your face?

I wouldn’t either.

It’s got to be a sobering reality for Husky nation. Up until now, they’ve spent the last few years living in a world where things were good and getting better.

The two top dogs of yesteryear, the USC Trojans and the Oregon Ducks, both decided to go dormant, to retreat into irrelevancy. It left the door wide open for Washington to claim top dog status.

Everything looks more complicated than that now. The Ducks are resurgent, likely to finish the season in first place.

The Trojans will likely get a new, big-name coach this offseason.

It’s yet another example of why sports may be the best metaphor for life.

Success. Failure. Change. Those are the only constants.

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About Author

Paul Redman

Paul Redman is a writer and chef in Seattle who grew up in the Midwest. His work has appeared in print and online, including San Francisco magazine, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Contrary. He eats too many chicken wings and cracks way too many dad jokes and food puns. Follow him on Twitter @predman.

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