Share this story...
Latest News

Jim Moore predicts a UW Huskies win in Pac-12 title game, but he’s not rooting for it

Jake Browning leads the UW Huskies into Friday's Pac-12 Championship game against Utah. (AP)

Many of us recognize that today should be another Cougar Football Friday just like last week when it was a Cougar Football Friday for the Apple Cup. But it’s not, mainly because of the weather. It snowed at the start of the Apple Cup and stopped snowing right after the game ended. It was as if the football gods had a bet on the Dawgs.

Heaps’ Film Room: How UW beat WSU to advance to Pac-12 title game

Even if you think the Dawgs would have won anyway – and you can easily make your case – I still will always wonder how that game would have played out in better conditions. But after having some time to think about it, you have to wonder why the Cougars didn’t switch it up on the fly and hand it off more frequently to James Williams and Max Borghi.

Two things – the Huskies would not have been prepared for that, and Williams and Borghi, as we saw all year, are capable running backs who both have a downhill style that would have been productive on a slippery track. But it’s easy to second-guess in hindsight when Plan A didn’t work so well.

One more thing before moving on to the prediction for tonight’s Pac-12 championship game in Santa Clara. Like Mike Leach, I don’t understand how the Cougars can be ranked lower than four three-loss teams. If they remain at No. 13, they won’t get an invitation to a New Year’s Six bowl game.

They should get an invitation to the Peach or Fiesta Bowl, and if they could play Michigan, it would be terrific, a rematch of the 1998 Rose Bowl with the added bonus of one quirky coach against another, Leach vs. Jim Harbaugh.

Right now that looks unlikely, and there are some who say that a Washington win over Utah would somehow help the Cougs in their bid for a New Year’s Six bowl appearance. Those who feel that way think that should be a reason why Coug fans should root for the Huskies tonight.

To that I say, no thanks. If a Husky loss means that we play a less-prominent team in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, that’s fine, bring it on. The Riverwalk is beautiful this time of year. Besides, it would be worth it to see the Huskies, at full strength, lose to a Utah team playing with a backup quarterback and running back, falling short of the Rose Bowl as a consolation prize after blowing their national championship hopes by losing to Oregon when Coach Pete got overly conservative at the end of regulation.

Problem is, I don’t see that happening. The Huskies have a better offense and a better defense. There’s always this talk about Utah embodying their tough guy coach with their physical play, but it’s not as if the Dawgs are soft. I’ll take the Huskies’ defense over Utah’s defense eight days a week.

On both sides of the ball, the Huskies have a big advantage, and they already beat Utah 21-7 in September in Salt Lake City. And now Utah is going to try to win this thing on a neutral field with a backup QB and running back?

How is Washington favored by only 5 1/2 points? I like the Dawgs in a big way. Huskies 24, Utes 3.

Huard: Keys for No. 10 UW in Pac-12 title game