Max Waugh via Dawgman.com
The 2011 NCAA football season is upon us. Hallelujah and amen, let the tailgating begin. This is the year that the Pac-10 adds two schools (Utah and Colorado) and becomes the Pac-12, giving the conference as many teams as there are beers in a half case of Rainier and a championship game just like the big boys in the SEC. This is the year that scandal plagues powerhouse programs like Miami, Ohio State, and Oregon, shocking the last fan in America who still believes that college football coaches and boosters are wholesome, upstanding men who have the best interests of student athletes at heart. And, most important, this is the year that the University of Washington Huskies overcome a decade of mediocrity and bring glory back to Montlake. Or is it?
Max Waugh via Dawgman.com
In sum, the expectations are high, and anything less than a winning season and respectable bowl game will be a crushing disappointment. But, as the saying goes among perpetually disappointed Seattle sports fans, you can put expectations in one hand and take a crap in the other and see which one fills up first. Whether it's our basketball team moving to Oklahoma or our baseball team putting up deadball-era hitting statistics, things tend to go horribly, horribly wrong with athletics in the Emerald City.
Tomorrow we'll outline everything that could possibly go right with the 2011 Huskies (does anyone else smell Roses?), but today is the day for the worst-case scenario. Keep in mind that this isn't what we predict will happen, but what could transpire if, as usual, the sports gods conspire to drop yet another deuce on the Seattle faithful. Here's hoping we don't get to say "We told you so."
Game 1, UW vs. Eastern Washington: Defending FCS champions come to Husky Stadium and pull off a shocking upset victory in Saturday's season opener, winning 24-21 on a last-second field goal. Chris Polk tries to return too soon from his preseason arthroscopic knee surgery, gets reinjured, and is out for the rest of the season. (We warned you, this is a worst-case scenario.)
Game 2, UW vs. Hawaii: Bryant Moniz, Hawaii's senior QB, picks up where he left off last year (he averaged 360 passing yards a game, and totaled 39 TDs) and torches the supposedly rejuvenated Husky secondary for 500+ yards passing and 4 touchdowns. Ultra-intense Husky defensive coordinator Nick Holt ruptures a blood vessel in his forehead.
Game 3, UW at Nebraska: The Cornhuskers exact revenge on the Huskies for last year's Holiday Bowl in front of 100,000 red-clad fans in Lincoln, trouncing the Dawgs 56-3 on national TV. Keith Price throws multiple interceptions and sports talk radio callers start the season-long calls for backup Nick Montana to start.
Game 4, UW vs. California: The naysayers get their wish: Keith Price is benched in favor of Nick Montana after an interception on the opening drive. The redshirt freshman gets sacked repeatedly and injured, Price returns to lead the Huskies to a comeback victory. (Hey, it's not the Willingham era--the Huskies can't possibly lose all their games.)
Game 5, UW at Utah: Utah proves they belong in the Pac-12, slaying a fatigued UW squad in the altitude of Salt Lake. Star freshmen Kasen Williams and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins are caught pulling a Damon Stoudemire on the plane ride home -- trying to smuggle pot wrapped in foil through the airport metal detector -- and suspended from the team.
Game 6, UW vs. Colorado: Without Polk and with Price still struggling, the UW offense continues to be miserable, gaining just 101 yards of total offense. But senior punter Kiel Rasp (the lone bright spot on the Husky roster at this point) pins Colorado inside the 10-yard-line on multiple kicks, and Colorado ends up taking a safety, giving UW the only points of the game. It's an ugly 2-0 victory for the men of Montlake.
Game 7, UW at Stanford : Stanford's Andrew Luck cements his status as Heisman front runner and Stanford annihilates the Huskies 42-0. Here's some footage from the game:
Game 8, UW vs. Arizona Struggling Huskies switch to the wishbone offense, still lose.
Game 9, UW vs. Oregon In the week leading up to the game, NCAA investigators announce that Oregon is cleared of all wrongdoing in the Willie Lyles affair. Phil Knight celebrates by crafting custom pairs of gold-plated cleats for every Ducks starter. Oregon romps in the last UW home game before Husky Stadium is remodeled. The Ducks vault to number one in the BCS rankings. Huskies reach their nadir.
Game 10, UW at Oregon State Dawg fans too depressed after Oregon loss to watch. Win or lose, it doesn't matter what happens to the Huskies at this point as long as they win the Apple Cup.
Game 11, UW vs. WSU at CenturyLink Field Cougar fans outnumber Husky supporters at the Seahawks' stadium, and the 2-8 Huskies "Coug it," snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for a last-minute loss to their cross-state rivals.
Postseason With a lousy 2-9 record, no bowl game for the Huskies. Sarkisian accepts offer for NFL head coaching job. Oregon wins National Championship. NCAA reveals investigation of UW for improper recruiting. Mt. Rainier erupts and the end of days is upon us.