Here is my first and final prediction regarding this weekend’s Apple Cup. And to tip my hand, here is the leading question:
Has there ever been a better last place team in Pac-10 history than this season’s squad?
My answer is a resounding “no.”
When you look at it from the other point of view, here’s another leading question:
Can you name one Pac-10 team that went through conference play undefeated that was not a VERY good team?
Both of these questions lead me to years of basic Pac-10 mathematics. Teams that go UNDEFEATED in this conference are always, very, very, very, very good. In other words, you just don’t go 8-0 by accident, you have to be something special to get there.
The same is true for going winless in the conference. To accomplish such a (de)feat, you really and truly have to be not only bad, but you have to be downright awful.
Last year’s Washington team was downright awful. We were downright awful in 1998. And when you think back to some of those early 90’s and 80’s Oregon State squads, I mean, they were getting blown out to teams like us–when we were, in fact, TERRIBLE.
So, when you look at a team like us who is SO close to being 7-3 right now….we’re just not in the awful department. As we well know, with the exception of USC, every single one of those games were games that we could have, if not should have won. When you factor all of that into the history of winless scrubs, we just don’t fit anywhere near the mold of “beyond hapless.”
With that all in mind, the math is clear. There’s not anything x’s and o’s oriented in my analysis except to say that it just doesn’t “figure” that we are going to lose this game. Cuz, teams as “almost good” as we are don’t go winless in conference. Hell, the Dawgs are “almost awful” and they just won a game–and on the road….
Which brings me to the lead: Cougs explode in this game and end it in the W column in the only way that they can–they get a lead too big to squander.
Final: WSU 45 UW 24.
And yes, gents, it won’t be that close…