With college football season upon us, now is the last chance to get predictions in. For many, it's a chance to brag about being right or lament their mistakes at the end of the season, depending on how well their predictions pan-out. This isn't one of those posts.
Instead, I'm going the Ted Miller route and looking at the season in an off-the-wall way. If any of these scenarios do happen, I'm a genius that can see the future. If not, just take it as humor.
What follows is a look at the most extreme best and worst case scenarios for the Huskies and Cougars 2010 seasons.
Best Case: Jake Locker comes out and throws for 300 yards and four touchdowns against BYU as the Huskies roll to start the season. UW beats a tough Nebraska team at home and is 3-0 at the start of conference play. Washington goes to the Coliseum and proves last years' win over the Trojans was no fluke, beat USC 35-21 on the back of another strong Locker performance. With Lane Kiffin now on the hot-seat, Husky head-man Steve Sarkisian signs a 10-year extension, serving notice that he's a Husky through-and-through. With his Heisman hype reaching a feverish pitch, Locker waltzes into Autzen stadium and throws for three touchdowns, while also rushing for two, leading in a dominating win for the Dawgs.
The Huskies finish their romp through the Pac-10 schedule undefeated and head for a BCS National Championship matchup with Alabama in January. En route, Locker wins the Heisman, beating out Oregon's Lamichael James by a sound margin. The Dawgs finish the season undefeated and Locker is the first pick in the 2011 draft. The hometown hero is immediately named the starter for the Seattle Seahawks.
Worst Case: Locker breaks his leg on the first play from scrimmage against BYU, suffering the freak injury while dropping-back untouched. Freshman Nick Montana becomes the starter, but is ineffective, wasting a valuable redshirt year. The Huskies haven't won a game by the time they play Oregon, yet hang with the Ducks throughout the game at Autzen. Redshirt freshman Keith Price drives the Huskies the length of the field and scores to bring the Dawgs within one late in the fourth quarter, only to be flagged for excessive celebration in the end-zone. The Huskies miss the extra point and the Ducks win.
Looking to avoid another 0-12 season, Washington takes the lead in the Apple Cup, only to see the Cougars storm back late in the game. Cougar place-kicker Nico Grasu hits another game-winning field goal in overtime, sealing the Huskies' fate. Sensing trouble on the horizon, UW athletic director Todd Turner fires Sarkisian and re-hires Tyrone Willingham to clean up the mess.
Best Case: Jeff Tuel comes out and plays with his hair on fire, lighting up Oklahoma State to start the season in a win that shocks the world. The offensive line is steady, the defense makes plays, and somehow the Cougs avoid injuries. The Cougars finish the non-conference slate undefeated and roll into the Pac-10 schedule with all the momentum in the world. A win against the Oregon Ducks at Martin Stadium is the cornerstone win for the upstart Cougs. Not accustomed to being the favorite, WSU overlooks Arizona State, losing to the Sun Devils in overtime.
The Cougars shut out Washington in the Apple Cup, leaving Jake Locker with a losing record in the rivalry game and keeping the Huskies out of bowl season. WSU takes on Boise State in the Rose Bowl, pulling within one late in the fourth quarter on a 95-yard fake punt that Reid Forrest takes to the house. On the extra point, Forrest calls his own fake, hitting a wide open Nico Grasu for the last second win, giving the Broncos a taste of their own medicine.
Secret weapon Forrest rushes for 10 touchdowns on fake punts on the season and wins the Heisman by a surprising margin over Husky quarterback Jake Locker.
Worst Case: The line can't block and Tuel is a sitting duck. Against FCS Montana State, Washington State loses Tuel to a career ending neck injury and sees backup Marshall Lobbestael go down with another season-ending knee injury. WSU loses to Montana State, marking the low-point in Cougar football history. Coach Paul Wulff is dead-set on keeping freshman Connor Halliday's redshirt in-tact, leaving David Gilbertson to take the reigns.
It's another year of futility for the Cougars, with WSU regularly getting blown out by 40+ points. In the Apple Cup, David Gilbertson avenges his fathers' firing from Washington, leading the Cougs to victory and providing the only highlight in a season that gives no hope for the future. Idaho head coach Robb Akey signs a lifetime extension with the Vandals, leaving Washington State without any options at head coach after firing third-year man Paul Wulff. With no other options, the Cougs turn to Tyrone Willingham to fix the program. The rest is history...
Reid Forrest still wins the Heisman after putting together a historic season of punting.