One of the biggest nights of the year for Husky sports comes in the final days of 2012. The UW football team faces Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and the Baylor Bears in the Alamo Bowl, while the basketball team plays its first Pac-12 conference game at home against Oregon State. Both games start at 6 p.m.
The UW football squad is 7-5 and in dire need of a victory to finish their up and down season on a high note. Winning will be a tall order. Baylor's Griffin -- better known as RG3 -- is a dreadlock-sporting, touchdown-scoring machine, and the Husky defense has more holes than a golf course. The Bears averaged 43 points a game, while UW let opponents score an average of 33. Baylor is favored by nine points by the oddsmakers in Vegas, and the over/under (the number of points expected to be scored) is a whopping 78.
But this isn't UW's first rodeo being postseason underdogs against a Big-12 offensive juggernaut. Just last season they stunned Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. Then as in now, the running of Chris Polk will be a deciding factor. It's likely his last game before bolting to the NFL draft
Meanwhile on the hardwood, Lorenzo Romar and Co. will have their mettle tested against Oregon State. And the Beavers aren't the pushovers they have been in years past. Craig Robinson (brother of Michelle Obama) is off to a strong start and his star Jared Cunningham is widely hailed as the best hoopster in Corvalis since Gary Payton.
UW is also loaded with talent but hasn't been able to harness it thus far. Freshman sensation Tony Wroten might be the team's biggest asset and biggest liability. For every brilliant pass spectacular dunk he makes, the Garfield grad commits a turnover and gives up an easy bucket on defense.
A loss in the Pac-12 opener almost puts UW out of NCAA tournament contention, owing to their poor non-conference campaign. But despite its import, the game almost feels like an afterthought in comparison to football season finale.
To boost attendance, the UW athletic department has announced that tonight at Hec Ed the public address announcers will give frequent football score updates, and the remainder of the Bowl will be shown on the arena's big screen the after the final basketball buzzer sounds.