clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Day 26: UW’s biggest 2017 rival

New, 242 comments

We can’t stand those guys...at least this year.

Rice v Stanford
Is this the face of UW’s greatest 2017 rival?
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Hello, Sidney Jones. We were just wondering if you could tell us how many days are left until the start of Husky football.

Washington State v Washington
Sidney Jones knows what’s up.
Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Oh yeah. That’s right. 26 days. How will we ever pass the time?

I know, how about another poll?

We are talking about rivals today. Specifically, who amongst our PAC 12 rivals do we fear...abhor...resent...hate (sports hate, of course) the most in 2017?

No rules in today’s poll. All that is required is for you to run the following mental exercise:

(1) summon a picture in your mind’s eye of all other PAC 12 mascots standing in a continuous line

(2) now imagine that you are standing on a platform above them at the exact moment a sinkhole opens at their feet and begins pulling all of them down into the ground

(3) further imagine that you have exactly 10 lines to drop down and to save all but one of those mascots

(4) determine which of those mascots you are going to allow to descend into the depths of hell

No pressure.

Let’s look at the options.

Option 1 - Washington State (aka the Cuogs)

Poll

Which PAC 12 team ought we consider UW’s biggest rival in 2017?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Washington State Cougars
    (85 votes)
  • 52%
    Oregon Ducks
    (439 votes)
  • 36%
    USC Trojans
    (305 votes)
829 votes total Vote Now

Look, this is never a bad choice. The Cougs are the lovable losers from the east side of the state who have had the gall to emerge in 2017 as a legitimate threat to (gasp) field a winning team.

I know. I can’t handle it, either. After all, this is the team that has given us an all-time playlist of classic gifs, tweets, and memes that can be matched by no other collegiate program in the world.

Hating on the Cougs is a time-honored tradition that has resulted in mostly but not always friendly sports-hate banter between competing fanbases. Disparity in on-the-field performance between the two programs has been a fountain of source material enabling this banter in typical years.

But 2017 may not be a typical year. The Cougs are a legitimate threat in the conference this year. They have a decent defense, a veteran QB, and an offensive line that looks like a plus. The idea that they might walk into Husky Stadium in November and, at the very least, ruin a title run for UW is certainly a possibility.

So, what do you think? Do we need to consider labeling WSU our #1 rival this year?

Option 2 - Oregon (aka 70regon)

Twelve years passed between UW victories over Oregon and yet, just one year after an epic 70-21 shellacking in Eugene, a sense of pity has seemingly set in.

This can’t be allowed to stand. This is Oregon. It should not be necessary for me to remind you of the blowouts. It should not be necessary for me to remind you of the players who contributed to running up the score countless times. It should not be necessary for me to remind you of the smugness of Chip Kelly and the arrogance of Mike Bellotti.

In fact, I hate to have to even do this, but this is the fanbase that gave us:

and

Although, I have to admit, I do like Gangnam (Duck) Style.

On the field, the Ducks could be a legitimate “upset alert” opponent. Their offense is an equalizer for what might be another difficult year, defensively. In addition, don’t underestimate the revenge factor that many players - including QB Justin Hebert and RB Royce Freeman - may be feeling. While I’m not usually swayed by the “motivation factor”, this is the kind of rivalry that burns white-hot for some players.

Option 3 - USC (aka SUC University)

USC has traversed a rough road the last few years. First it was Lane Kiffin.

Then Sark.

Now Clay Helton has arrived on the scene and lent credence to the observation that the adults are now responsible for the program. While Clay may not be the most dynamic or skilled coach out there, he’s instilled a sense of stability back into the USC equation.

Lo and behold, the Trojans are now back in the national title contender scene.

USC may represent the single biggest threat to the Huskies and their hopes of a second straight playoff performance. If things play out the way that many expect, the PAC 12’s two all-time winningest programs will face off in the PAC 12 championship as a pair of Top-10 teams seeking a ticket to the college football playoffs.

That, my friends, is grounds for some serious sports-hate starting right now.

The Verdict

Oregon

Here is how I arrived at my conclusion. First, I dismissed USC right away. Sure, we see them as a rival. But they don’t see us in the same vein. And, truth be told, it is probably the best situation for UW that USC tears through their PAC 12 schedule (which would mean a big W over Stanford, by the way) and shows up in San Francisco as UW’s opponent in the PAC 12 championship. So, fight on or whatever.

Next, I had to settle what seems like a tie between WSU and Oregon. Logically, I had a hard time getting through this consideration. But then I remembered the “better beer test” rule. The “better beer test” basically goes like this. If you were to invite two fans over to your house, each of whom root for a different team, to watch their two teams compete with one another, which fan would you serve your better beer?

I know, I know. This rule supposes an outlandish scenario - that any of you would actually be inclined to open your house to either a Coug or a Duck, much less both at the same time.

Nevertheless, I decided that I’d serve the Coug Rainier while I would serve the Duck a Natty Light. The Coug, would therefore, get the better beer, barely.

There you have it. Chime in below. I want to know. Who is our biggest rival going into 2017?