Either the University of Washington has a puncher’s chance in the college football playoff or big, bad Alabama is going to steamroll the Dawgs until they resemble a Flat Stanley doll. It depends on whom you ask.
We asked readers. In our latest poll at HeraldNet.com, we wanted to know what you expect from the Huskies in the playoff. Expect isn’t the same as desire, but with a high number of Husky fans in our audience, we went in knowing a lot of people would vote with their hearts.
Even so, a little more than half of our voters said Alabama would make quick work of the UW in Saturday’s Peach Bowl, and it’s a 15-point favorite for a reason. Alabama is the most feared football factory east of Archbishop Murphy High School, with dozens of alumni in the NFL. Head coach and suspected cyborg Nick Saban has turned the Crimson Tide into the Death Star of college football, joylessly destroying everything in their path.
Meanwhile, 42 percent said they expect a national championship. You’ll be able to spot them giddily repeating “told you so” after the title game Jan. 9.
And only 7 percent took the other possibility — that UW could slay mighty Alabama only to lose the championship game. Maybe we’re not emotionally prepared for that fate.
As a purple-blooded Husky, I’m hanging my hat on a few factors in our favor this week: There’s a decent chance the Tide takes the Huskies lightly.
Washington has a lot of NFL-caliber talent of its own, so this isn’t the kind of mismatch Alabama usually enjoys.
UW coach Chris Peterson made himself famous at Boise State by pulling off upsets of roughly the same magnitude.
Sometimes the good guys win.
Dawgs 31, Tide 28.
— Doug Parry: firstname.lastname@example.org; @parryracer
OK. Well, with all that optimism out of the way, let’s consider the year to come.