Husky Coach Steve Sarkisian was hustling past a radio reporter Saturday night at halftime of Washington’s eventual 41-0 loss. I mark the occasion of his quote about having witnessed the “worst” half of offense with which he’s ever been associated because, simultaneously, my buddy and I had just scored.
Actually, we scored twice. First it was the primo parking spot outside of Buckley’s in Lower Queen Anne. Then it was the two best bar seats in front of the comfortable pub’s collection of big-screen TVs. Our shoes were still soaked from the slop we’d walked through on the way out of Husky Stadium minutes earlier; our eyes still smarted from the slop we’d seen on the field.
But our good fortune afforded us a few hours of viewing some of the best of Pac-10 football.
Juxtaposed with a broadcast of the Husky-Stanford catastrophe, that is, was the game number-one ranked Oregon won 53-32 at USC. I think I glanced over at the Dawg contest once or twice but only when I caught a peripheral indication of a rare commercial that wasn’t about the downsides of voting for Murray or Rossi.
That the Beaver State is the best, er, damn place for Northwest college football has been evident for years. If anyone is left unconvinced, consider that Saturday the Huskies and Washington State lost (the Cougs to Arizona State) by a combined 83-0.
Meanwhile, the Ducks didn’t merely win by 19 on the road. They moved into the first-place spot in the BCS post-season sweepstakes. Oregon State, meanwhile, triumphed over Cal 35-7. The Ducks-Beavs are 8-1 in league (they’d be 9-0 if OSU had completed an easy two-point conversion against the Dawgs), no doubt making the Dec. 4 Civil War game in Corvallis a stage for the greatest state duel in history.
Husky patrons, meanwhile, are seeing a slow turnaround in UW’s ability to compete with conference foes. Some believe it will be made even less easy when the Dawgs, given restrictive Pac-12 scheduling two years hence, face limited exposure in the recruit-rich Los Angeles area.
The Cougars, meanwhile, will need to see whether the consensus is that their unsuccessful head coach (4-30 well into his third Wazzu season) is a sheep in Wulff’s clothing. Paul Wulff’s one-point win against Montana State is all that keeps the Cougs from a winless season, though that could change if the Huskies play as poorly as they’re capable of in Pullman Dec. 4.
Little wonder that Seattle-region fans of outdoor “football” have embraced the Sounders, as evidenced by what promised to be another sellout crowd Sunday as the lads met L.A. in playoff action. Although the Sounders lost 1-0, the irony was that it had been possible that the region’s big-league soccer team could score more points than the other three “football” teams in Washington combined.
The Seahawks? They at least saw to it that state fans avoided a pointless football weekend. The Hawks, who earned their initial first down a few ticks prior to the first-half two-minute warning, managed a field goal late in the game, losing to Oakland 33-3 but somehow remaining atop their division at 4-3.
That could end soon. Next week they host a New York Giants team that many consider the best in the National Football Conference. Then it’s treacherous road trips to Arizona and defending Super Bowl Champ New Orleans before a home date with a solid Chiefs team.
The Duck game running late, my buddy and I didn’t get back to the car radio in time to hear what Sarkisian had to say at the end of the Stanford debacle, the first home shutout loss the Dawgs sustained since 1976. It’s just a guess but maybe he told reporters that, in fact, he needed to amend what he said at the end of the first two quarters — that they’d comprised the “second-worst” half of football offense with which he’s ever been associated.