UCLA is stealing all of our fucking recruits!
OK, so that’s an exaggeration, but still. Losing Demetrice Martin – our secondary coach & what sounds like an incredible recruiter – has directly resulted in certain recruits re-thinking their choices to attend the University of Washington. On the one hand, okay, you don’t want kids here who don’t WANT to be here; but on the other hand, Fuck UCLA!
It’s NEVER okay to lose recruits. Just because you can make the argument that only a fraction of any class of recruits will end up being productive players for your football team … that doesn’t mean it’s remotely a good thing to lose players before they’ve even had a chance to show what they can do! ESPECIALLY in our secondary! Which has been a liability for this team for as long as I can remember!
Which is why these bowl games are so important. Just showing up will boost your profile tenfold over the teams who don’t have what it takes to win 6 games. WINNING will boost your profile even more, because everyone likes playing for a winner. Winning against good, nationally-ranked teams … that’s a boost only surpassed by the bump you’d get from being involved in BCS Bowls.
Last year, Washington beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. Nebraska – while they may not have exactly been thrilled with their matchup – was still a ranked team. And a heavily-favored team. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, they were one of the MOST heavily-favored teams in all of the 30-something bowl games last year.
And We Kicked Their Shit In.
It’s pretty tough to quantify the importance of that win. How many people watched that game? How many of those people were potential recruits? How many of those potential recruits were pushed over the fence into Washington’s back yard due to that win? It’s a number greater than zero and less than 30. But, the fact that it’s greater than zero is a major coup.
Washington has this great, rich history in football. In the distant past and the not-so-distant past. But, that Holiday Bowl last year was the first bowl game we’d participated in in the better part of a decade. High school kids, people looking for football scholarships from bigtime Pac-12 universities – unless they grew up in the Seattle area rooting for this team as very small children – aren’t really all that aware of the tradition of Husky Football. All they know is what they’ve seen in the past few years. And, in the past few years, it hasn’t been pretty for the Purple & Gold. So, the simple fact that the Huskies have this new, exciting, young coaching staff, and they’re turning a destitute situation into one of great wealth by going to bowl games and (eventually) contending for Pac-12 Championships, that’s all great publicity for a school looking to bring in better and better recruits. Winning that Holiday Bowl was a major step towards saying, “We’re back, bitches!”
But, I’ll argue that this Alamo Bowl on Thursday, December 29th at 6pm Pacific, is VASTLY more important than our already-important Holiday Bowl victory last year.
First of all, there are a ton of stories swirling around this game. Granted, 99.9999% of those stories are about Baylor & specifically Robert Griffin III, but still, the vast majority of college football fans are going to be interested in this game. Not just the degenerate gamblers and the die-hards, but even the casual fans are going to want to see the Heisman Trophy winner do his thing against (what they will come to find out, if they don’t know already) a brutally awful Husky defense.
Secondly, it doesn’t hurt that this game is on in Prime Time, and it’s the only action in sports (unless you count basketball, which I do not). AND, it’s on a Thursday night. Aside from Sunday night, you’re looking at prime TV-watching time. Why not stop by and see what’s going on in the Alamo Bowl? Maybe you’ll be greeted to an exciting contest.
Third, this game has all of that going for it, AND it’s on the Thursday before New Years. How many working Americans are going to take that Friday off? I would wager quite a bit! So, those East Coast viewers (who have a 9pm start time) will be more likely to stay up and watch this game to the end if the score is close.
Finally, this game has a pretty solid lead-in with the Florida State/Notre Dame game. Two powerhouse schools with big name recognition. Suffice it to say, there WILL be eyes on this Alamo Bowl. MANY more eyes, I would wager, than on last year’s Holiday Bowl.
These are ALL reasons why the Huskies need to win this game. They need this win MUCH more than they need last year’s win, because a victory over the Heisman Trophy winner is going to get infinity more publicity than a rebound win over a Nebraska team that wasn’t trying all that hard.
The Huskies need this win to reinforce that this is a program on the rise. They need this win to mitigate the loss of one of our best recruiters. They need this win to put this school back on the map in an even BIGGER way. Put the Pac-12 on notice. We’re coming for your Blue Chippers! We won’t stop until we’re dancing on the turf in Pasadena with roses in our mouths!