A football weekend to make Seattle fans air sick

The upcoming games for the UW Huskies and the Seattle Seahawks will be on the road. Uh-oh.

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It was a happy Seahawks sideline as the team won Sept. 26.

The upcoming games for the UW Huskies and the Seattle Seahawks will be on the road. Uh-oh.

Seattle-area football fans no doubt look forward to the approaching weekend as though it would feature a pair of three-hour root canals, one starting at 5 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 2) in Los Angeles, the next, after sitting through a turbulent flight between a pair of sweaty sumo wrestlers with head colds, in St. Louis Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT.

Those who bet football would do well to consider a parlay. Take USC over the UW Huskies coupled with the Rams over the Seahawks, and do it at the prevailing point spread (as I write this the Trojans are favored by 10 and the Hawks are predicted to win by one). It’s probably the safest sports wager since you took Elin plus $100 million over Tiger.

The Huskies winning Saturday over the University of Southern California in the Los Angeles Coliseum would mean defying some of the most ominous realities imaginable (much more so, anyway, than overcoming a mere 10-point betting differential)

First and foremost is the fact that the Dawgs haven’t won on the road since, well, since mascot Dubs was a pup: Nov. 3, 2007, when the Huskies beat Stanford in Palo Alto.

Second, the Huskies would seem to be statistically inferior to SC. It’s difficult to conclude this definitively because the programs have no common opponents. Nor is it impressive that the 4-0 Trojans eked out a 17-14 home win Sept. 11 against Virginia. Moreover, even the Sept. 25 50-16 win in Pullman against the consensus worst Pac-10 team was actually close . . . for a few minutes.

The most daunting numbers for the Huskies: 9/19/09. ‘Twas just that date when the UW program seemed to right itself from years of benign (well, malignant at times) neglect, collecting an improbable 16-13 home win against a heavily favored SC team. None of us who witnessed that event (many actually stayed for seemingly an hour basking in the afterglow) likely has forgotten it. That, alas, includes Trojan coaches and players.

The other apparent problem for the Huskies is an offense that hasn’t come close to living up to its potential. The vaunted Jake Locker-led attack, with a depth chart full of talented receivers and running backs, ranks low among Pac-10 teams (here again, apples versus crab-apples since there hasn’t yet been much intra-conference competition). Various online “power rankings” have the Huskies at ninth in conference, USC at third.

The Seahawks problem is similar to that of the cross-town college team. After three weeks the Hawks rank 29th in offense among the 32 NFL outfits. That they’re 2-1 obviously owes more to luck: happenstance, such as, say, it just so happens that Leon Washington ran two back for touchdowns Sept. 26.

Bleep, of course, always seems to happen in football. Unfortunately, it’s kind of difficult to fit it into a game plan. Yes, Seattle beat San Diego, the team with the top-ranked offense in football. Given a 10-game series with the Chargers, it’s not likely that the Hawks would win more than a couple.

St. Louis, though just 1-2, suddenly looks a lot more like the contender team of 10 years ago. Even if this weren’t the case, the fact would remain that the Seattle club is prone to making pratfalls on foreign turf (and, of course, even at home, as was the case against San Diego). Many more mistakes on offense and team officials may follow the example of San Francisco execs. They canned their offensive coordinator after just three games, all losses, even though the 49ers are ranked nine positions higher on “O” than the Seahawks.

Of course, we could be walking around Sunday afternoon wondering a) how anybody could’ve counted out either local grid contingent and, more importantly, b) why we let some #%&*! gambling counselor convince us to bet against what prove to be the victorious Huskies and Hawks.

The answer here: Hey, who’s complaining? Sure, you lost your parlay wager but your local clubs are 2-2 and 3-1, and headed, respectively, for the Rose Bowl and Super Bowl. Can’t bet-hedge much better than that    


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