I'm going to pivot here and talk a little about the BIG GAME coming up in Seattle on October 14th.
I think at this point UW will probably win, but I think Oregon has a legitimate chance. They essentially gave the game away at home last year due to some truly awful coaching by Dan Lanning, and an untimely late injury to Bo Nix. Lanning seems better this year so far, and you know Nix would love nothing better than to beat the Huskies in Seattle.
A lot of Husky fans I know are talking a big game, several of them have told me straight up they believe the Huskies are the best team in the nation. That's big talk, and it is possible the Huskies could get into the playoff this year, but it seems unlikely. They do have a talented coach, good offensive scheme, and several outstanding skill position players. On the other hand, they just don't have the level of talent and depth a team like Oregon or USC has. Any team is vulnerable at the QB position, but outside of that, if USC or Oregon lose a WR or running back, or a couple guys on defense, they still have blue chip 4 or 5 star guys ready to step up and fill that gap.
Right now I see 4 teams with a chance to win the Pac-12. USC, Oregon, UW, and Oregon State. I believe the winner of the game on the 14th will be in the Pac-12 title game, and honestly both of them could meet again in Las Vegas. If I were UW fans I would consider the following...
- UW's defense is a bit suspect. They have faced some pretty weak competition, but have given up some points. A combined 56 points allowed against CAL and Arizona, probably the #8 and #9 teams in the conference, is not exactly championship caliber.
- To this point the Huskies have shown they have a pretty one dimensional offense. I can think of another team Oregon has played that has lit every other team up, except the Ducks, and doesn't run the football.
- Penix has only been sacked 3 times so far, but Oregon has 18 sacks on the season.
- Oregon may very well be the best defense UW will play this season, it seems like the Ducks defense has taken a major step forward in year 2 under Lanning.
Again, I think there is a better than even chance UW wins this game, but if things go sideways, the factors above will be prophetic.