Note: Wrote this a few years back but the site it was posted on is gone. So I’m posting it here for posterity. Or something.
Yeah, yeah, I know. If you’re an Oregon fan, every day is “I hate Washington day.” But there’s no denying that the animosity ratchets up when the Ducks battle the Huskies in an actual game. So with Washington set to face Oregon on the hardwood tonight in Eugene, I thought I’d share with you one of the (many) reasons why I hate the Washington Huskies.
(Yes, I realize I’m writing an entire post about Washington on an Oregon Ducks blog. I’m not happy about it, but it had to be done.)
I hate the Washington Huskies because they claim to have won—depending on who you ask—one, two or three national championships in football. This is a lie. After examining the facts, the only conclusion any right-thinking person can come to is that the Washington Huskies have zero national championships in football.
Let’s break it down, in reverse order.
The Huskies finished 12-0 and beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, 34-14. The Miami Hurricanes also finished 12-0, after beating Nebraska 22-0 in the Orange Bowl. Because the Pac-10 champion was contractually obligated to play in the Rose Bowl against the Big-10 champion, a Miami-Washington match-up was impossible. Miami was crowned champion in the AP Poll while the Huskies were the top team in the Coaches Poll, so they actually have a trophy for this one. But if they had any honor, they would call up Dennis Erickson and Gino Torretta and give the ‘Canes what is rightfully theirs, preferably on the 50-yard-line of Husky Stadium when it reopens in 2013.
Remember that Nebraska team that Miami shut out in the Orange Bowl? Washington trailed them 14-6 at halftime. Further, the second best team in the Pac-10 in 1991 was Cal(!), and the Huskies only managed a seven-point win over the Bears, and they didn’t even play the third-place team, UCLA.
Miami, meanwhile, finished with wins over the number three AND number four teams in both polls. They dropped Penn State 26-20 in week five, and the Nittany Lions went on to win the Fiesta Bowl and finished ranked number three.
In November, Miami went to Florida State and knocked off the Seminoles, who at the time were the consensus number one team in the country. That’s right, they beat the top ranked team in all the land. On the road. Guess who the Huskies beat that week? Oregon State, a team that ended the season 1-10. Florida State, by the way, won the Cotton Bowl and finished fourth in the nation.
Quick tangent about the Miami-FSU game: It was the early ‘90s version of the “game of the century.” The consensus leading up to the game was that it was a de facto national championship semi-final. Nobody was talking about Washington jumping either FSU or Miami at the time.
So Miami had a better win over a common opponent, beat their rival on the road when they were ranked number one, and beat the Fiesta Bowl champs, which gave them two wins over top four opponents. Washington’s best wins included exposing a Big-10 team in a major bowl game (that
never always happens), and beating Cal by a touchdown. And don’t be fooled by Michigan. This is a team that gave up 51 points to Florida State in a 20-point home loss earlier that season. They were wildly overrated.
Finally, some people have tarnished Oregon’s recent run of success by saying it is simply a by-product of USC being down/on probation. If you ever hear a Husky fan say this, you can kindly point out that in their greatest year ever, the Trojans were 3-8.
This one is laughable, and almost not worth mentioning, but it’s on their damn Wikipedia page, which means at least one Husky fan believes it, so debunk I must.
First of all, Washington didn’t even win the Pac-10. USC did. Second, both the AP and Coaches polls gave undefeated BYU the national championship. End of discussion, right?
Apparently not. According to the genius that wrote the Wikipedia entry on Washington football, the Berryman, Football News and National Championship Foundation polls all awarded Washington the national title in 1984. Similarly, I would like to announce that the Adams, Football Truth and World Title Foundation polls have all awarded Oregon national championships in 2001 (Ducks would have whipped Miami), 2007 (if Dixon doesn’t get hurt, Ducks win title) and 2010 (Dyer was down).
Boom. Now we’ve got three championships, too.
This one really ticks me off. The rules of the day stipulated that the national champions would be crowned based on the final polls of the regular season, and the bowl games would simply be exhibition games. Under these rules, Minnesota was declared the champion by both the AP and UPI (coaches) polls.
However, Washington beat Minnesota in the Rose Bowl that season. Apparently the Huskies think college football is like wrestling, where if you beat the guy with the belt, you’re the champ. They are, of course, delusional.
First of all, Washington wasn’t even undefeated. They had lost at home to Navy in September. Second, there were two teams that were undefeated, and both of them were ranked ahead of Washington in the pre-bowl polls. Fifth-ranked Missouri, who had lost to Kansas late in the season, but was later awarded a win because Kansas used an ineligible player, beat number four Navy (Remember them? They beat Washington.) in the Orange Bowl. Number two Ole Miss, who had zero losses but one tie, beat Rice in the Sugar Bowl, and number three Iowa, whose only loss was to Minnesota, couldn’t even play in a bowl because the Big-10 wouldn’t let its teams play anywhere but Pasadena.
Who else but the Huskies would assume that a one-loss, sixth-ranked team would have vaulted two unbeaten teams that won their bowl games, and another team that was better but wasn’t allowed to play in a bowl?
And people say Oregon fans are arrogant.
So tonight, when you’re watching Oregon and Washington square off at Matthew Knight Arena, remember this: Only one of those schools has an undisputed national championship in football or men’s basketball. And they aren’t wearing purple.