If I were a Huskies fan, I’d be upset that Texas A&M is ahead of my favorite team in the College Football Playoff rankings. I’d be in disbelief that a one-loss team that barely beat UCLA in overtime is ranked ahead of my team.
I’m not a Huskies fan, and I admit to being a little surprised. Washington looks good enough to me to be ranked ahead of Texas A&M.
1) It could actually be better to be ranked No. 5 this week. That should give the Huskies extra motivation to beat the daylights out of Cal on Saturday. Regardless of the rankings, they should throttle Cal anyway. Have you seen the Golden Bears’ defense? Neither have their fans.
2) If the Huskies and Aggies win out, UW would likely be in the top four and make the national-championship playoffs based on strength of schedule. To this point, the Huskies have played only one truly quality opponent in Utah. By the end of the year, they will have also played and presumably beaten USC, Washington State and the Pac-12 South Division winner in the conference championship game.
I say “presumably” for them to be involved in this national-championship scenario but in no way presume they’re going to win the Apple Cup.
So that’s the rational, objective take on Tuesday’s snub of the Huskies. Now for the irrational, subjective Cougs take:
If you take off your purple-and-gold glasses, the Huskies deserved to be fifth in the rankings. They nearly lost to a bad Arizona team, and I’ll argue ‘til the cows come home that they got away with three blocks in the back on a game-winning punt return at Utah.
UW, thus far, looks like the best team in a pretty weak Pac-12. Colorado and WSU look to be one rung down from the Huskies. USC and Utah are another rung down. Stanford is so-so. Cal, UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon State and Oregon aren’t even on the ladder.
I enjoy seeing social-media posts by Dawg fans who are outraged by Tuesday’s rankings. And the follow-up posts of “we’ll show them!” Love the angst and the fact that Tyrone Willingham is on the College Football Playoff ranking committee, still doing his part in screwing things up for Washington.
It’s funny hearing some Cougs say they actually want the Dawgs to win their next three games against Cal, USC and Arizona State so it will set them up for a bigger fall when WSU knocks them off the day after Thanksgiving in Pullman.
For me, part of being a Coug is never wanting your biggest rival to win, as in, NEVER. I’d rather see them enter the Apple Cup with a three-game losing streak and leave the Palouse with a four-game losing streak and then have to act like they’re happy to be playing in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl or whatever bottom-of-the-barrel game they’d get at that point.
This business of the Huskies winning out and being in the national-championship playoff and possibly paving the way for the Cougars to play in the Rose Bowl, no thanks. In that scenario, some seem to think that the Cougs might be the Rose Bowl choice over the South Division champ, be it a Colorado or USC team with three or four losses
If the Cougs go to the Rose Bowl, I want to see them head to Pasadena through the front door, not some doggie door provided by the unbeaten Huskies. Imagine that. What if they were to go on and beat Alabama and win the national championship in the same year we beat Ohio State in the Rose Bowl? It would be an undeniably great year, but in the future, looking back, it would always come with an asterisk: “Hey, remember 2016 when we finally won in the Rose Bowl? Yeah, but it was the same year the Huskies won the national championship.”
Again, no thanks. I suppose there are worse things in life, but all of this national-championship chatter with UW is making me violently ill. Alabama would no doubt end the nonsense once and for all, but I don’t want it to reach that point, knowing the Huskies are good enough to possibly beat the Crimson Tide.
Maybe Cal will restore reality on Saturday. Or maybe USC next week. And if not, hopefully the Cougs turn all of these exciting possibilities into a pipe-dream season for the Dawgs.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for SeattlePI.com and KitsapSun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.