Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Huskies are 9-3 and the Pac-12 North Champions.

The University of Washington Huskies beat the Washington State University Cougars last night in the Apple Cup. The final score was 28-15. It was an interesting game. But first, a little history...

The Snow Bowl

In 1992, at the end of the season, the Huskies were #5 in the AP Top 25 poll (the CFP didn't exist then). They were, the year before, the national champions. So they went into the Apple Cup pretty confident to beat the unranked Cougars.

But it was snowing. Snowing hard. And the wind chill was -18F (-28C). The Cougars managed to pull off a win by a score of 42-23. The game was forever dubbed the "Snow Bowl" by both Husky and Cougar fans. And it's one of the reason why we say "anything can happen at the Apple Cup."

Snow Bowl 2

Going into the game, the Cougars were favored with their 10-1 overall record (the Huskies were 8-3 overall). The only team they lost to was USC. However, USC is not very good this year and have a 5-6 overall record as of this morning. They play undefeated Notre Dame later today.

Last night it started snowing just before the game. And the wind was blowing. It snowed through out the game, depositing perhaps two inches of the white stuff. I dubbed it "Snow Bowl 2."

As the game when on (and the field got more covered in snow), the players moved slower and slower to compensate for the bad grip they had on the field. But the Huskies scored first and never looked back. They led the whole game. There were a lot of turnovers probably due to a wet football and cold hands. But also some interceptions. Running back Myles Gaskin ran a lot and scored a lot. Salvon Ahmed, the younger running back, also ran for a lot of yards.

The Cougars' one surprise play was a blocked point after attempt that went right into the hands of a Cougar who ran it in for a 2-point conversion.

The Cougars' much-vaunted quarterback is from Mississippi and I wondered if he'd ever seen snow before. He had trouble throwing the ball probably due to the low visibility. Husky quarterback Jake Browning didn't throw much either, but hit his target more often.

Going into last night's game, the Cougars were ranked #8 in the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings. The Huskies were #16. In the AP poll, the Cougars were #6 and the Huskies were #16, also.

So the Huskies are 7-2 in conference and 9-3 overall. The Cougars are also 7-2 in conference and 10-2 overall. With a tied in-conference record, and the Huskies beating the Cougars, the Huskies are the Pac-12 North Champions. Next week they play Utah for the Pac-12 championship. If they win, they will likely play in the Rose Bowl.

The Polls

The AP poll doesn't come out until Sunday morning Pacific Time. The CFP rankings will come out Tuesday. You can bet the Cougars will move down and the Huskies will move up in each poll.

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