Tuesday, November 26, 2013

High Hopes

When I was a kid my mother used to sing songs a lot as she worked around the house.  I thought she made them up because they were so silly no one else would have thought of them (like Mairzy Doats).  One song talked about "high hopes."  And "high hopes" was what us University of Washington Husky fans had for this football season.  And to be honest, at the beginning of the season, it looked that way.  Opening day in the new Husky Stadium we were underdogs to Boise State and beat them soundly.  We went on to a 4-0 record, the best start we'd had in years.  We were ranked nationally at #15.

Then came Stanford, Oregon, and Arizona State.  When we played Stanford, they were ranked #5 and I still think a bad call cost us the chance to win that game.  Then we had to play the Phil Knight Ducks, who were at the time ranked #2.  I didn't get to see the game but all accounts said the Huskies held their own until the fourth quarter.  Then we played Arizona State who, I thought, we should be able to beat.  We got killed in a blow-out.  In our defense, this was the first game of ASU's surge to go on and win the Pac-12 South title and be currently ranked #12 in the AP poll.

So now we were 4-3.  We beat a hapless California, destroyed Colorado (even pulling out our first stringers), and then lost to #13 UCLA.  We were 6-4, barely bowl eligible.

Then came our game over Oregon State last Saturday and, as I said, where was this team all year?

So going into the annual Apple Cup cross-state rivalry game against Washington State Cougars, we are 7-4.  We are in third place in the Pac-12 North (after Stanford and Oregon) and tied for 6th in the Pac-12 overall (tied with Arizona who we beat).  Yes, we could have been better but with a very strong Pac-12, it would have been tough.

If we win the Apple Cup against the Cougars we will be 8-4, barely an improvement on the 7-5 we've been the past three years.  If we lose the Apple Cup (and anything can happen with the Apple Cup) we'll be 7-5 again.

The good news is, in the Colorado and Oregon State games we played a lot of second stringers and they look good and are young players who will be starters in future years.  Because starting quarterback Keith Price was injured in the UCLA game, back up quarterback (and probable starter next year) redshirt freshman Cyler Miles looked great against the Beavers.

So, once again, I'm am saying "Maybe next year."  Seems I've been saying that for 20 years or so, now.

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