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Midweek Debate: Is an undefeated Wazzu team the best case scenario?

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Can you bring yourself to root for our cross state rivals?

NCAA Football: Boise State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

There is something inside of me that doesn’t allow me to root for the Washington State Cougars.

This weekend won’t be a problem for a lot of Husky fans when the Cougs travel to Eugene to face the Ducks. A pretty large percentage of Husky fans dislike Oregon more than WSU. For me, it’s not that I don’t like Wazzu; I actually appreciate Cougar loyalty. With an isolated campus tucked obscurely in the Palouse and a continual underdog mentality, I think Coug culture is pretty cool. But I know WAY too many Cougs. They are part of my every day life, and damn do they ever hate the Huskies.

Last weekend was a prime example of how I cannot root for Washington State, even when I want them to win. I refused to buy into the narrative that USC losing was death to every other team in the Pac-12 in terms of national perception of the conference. I just didn’t understand how it would benefit the conference for a Trojan team that squeaked one out against Texas and had been largely unimpressive in non-conference play to roll through the Pac-12. That would only prove that this middling top-20 team was far and above better than nearly anyone else the conference had to offer. I wanted WSU to beat them in a close game, changing the perception of USC from “the best in the Pac” to “one of several good teams the conference has to offer.”

Still, as I watched, while my words said “Go Cougs,” my heart said “Coug it.” Pac-12 after dark got to me as I had been up very early that day and fell asleep watching. When I woke up I checked my phone and saw that WSU had pulled it out. I was pleased on two counts: (1) WSU had beaten the golden boys of LA and (2) I didn’t have to watch it.

I’m still not 100% sure that WSU isn’t a bit of a paper tiger, mostly because they are still extremely susceptible to surrendering the big play. But while a lot of people point to the Boise St. game as a sign that the Cougs aren’t really that good, I feel like that was the type of game they have lost in past years, and that maybe they have gotten a little more resilient.

While this debate likely turns —at least in part— into a discussion of who people hate more (UO or WSU) that really isn’t the point. It’s this: Do you want the Cougs to run the table and come to Husky Stadium undefeated on November 25th? Furthermore, can you actually root for them?

Here’s their remaining schedule:

Oct. 7 at Oregon Ducks

Oct. 13 at California Golden Bears

Oct. 21 Colorado Buffaloes

Oct. 28 at Arizona Wildcats

Nov. 4 Stanford Cardinal

Nov. 11 at Utah Utes

Nov. 18 BYE

Nov. 25 at Washington Huskies

Poll

Do you want to face an 11-0 WSU team in the Apple Cup?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    I’ll be rooting for them. It would be the best looking win the Huskies can have on their regular season resume.
    (493 votes)
  • 33%
    I won’t actually root for them, but it would be cool for them to be undefeated entering the Apple Cup.
    (388 votes)
  • 13%
    Nope. They are the biggest challenge to UW winning the North, so I want them to lose.
    (157 votes)
  • 9%
    I never root for WSU, no matter what.
    (107 votes)
1145 votes total Vote Now