Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday bowling

A belated post on Washington's upcoming trip to the Holiday Bowl. I am, of course, delighted that Washington managed, by a very small margin, to attain their pre-season goal of getting back to post-season play.

I would have preferred a somewhat less difficult opponent than Nebraska, which mopped the turf of Husky stadium with the Huskies 56-21 early in the season, but apparently the Holiday Bowl people are very happy with their choice. Those who rank bowls, on the other hand, have the Holiday Bowl near the bottom of their list.

Clearly, Nebraska should be favored. What hope do the Huskies have? Well, I see three reasons to have some hope. First, Washington is coming off of three wins, while Nebraska just lost a heartbreaker to arch-rival Oklahoma on their way out the door of the Big 12. Second, Washington has revenge as a motivation, while Nebraska likely feels a bit ill-used and disappointed at ending up playing a team they already soundly defeated. Third, I suspect that Washington has gained more in experience over the intervening weeks than Nebraska. I would say this is particularly true for Locker, whose rough season and fall in the draft projections has likely added a healthy dose of realism in place of the hype that messed with his mind during the first few games.

So, my guess is that it is at least a lot closer this time around.

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