BY SPNW Staff 07:35PM 11/04/2011

For UW, It’s Not Just Losses, It’s The Margins

The Huskies have lost seven straight to to the Oregon Ducks dating to 2004. It’s not just the losses that pain Washington fans, but the gallingly large margins of defeat.

The Huskies will need a big game by quarterback Keith Price (17) to avoid an eighth consecutive rubout by the Oregon Ducks. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Oddsmakers started the week by installing the No. 6-ranked Oregon Ducks, a Nike subsidiary, as a 15-point favorite to defeat unranked Washington on Saturday night, thought the better of it, and increased the spread to 16 1/2 points for what will be the final game in Husky Stadium before a $200 million renovation of the facility commences.

Only Stanford, a 20-point pick, has been a larger favorite over Washington this season. The Cardinal more than covered, winning 65-21 in a rout that sent the Huskies into an emotional dither that didn’t abate until running back Chris Polk got them back on track with five touchdowns in last week’s 42-31 triumph over Arizona.

Oddsmakers can be excused for dismissing Polk’s heroics. In Oregon, the Huskies will be facing a team that has not only dominated Washington in recent years — seven consecutive victories — but has done so in nearly historic fashion.

The Phil Knight (Nike co-founder)-owned Ducks have stomped the Huskies by 24, 24, 20, 21, 24, 34 and 37 points in their seven victories (longest winning streak ever by Oregon over Washington), which constitutes a rash of nose rubbing unlike almost anything ever experienced by a Washington team.

We went back, so to speak, to the Great Seattle Fire (1889), and examined every losing streak of five or more games that Washington has endured against a single opponent, conference and otherwise. Turns out, there have been 15 such streaks.

No one will be surprised that Southern Cal is responsible for three of those streaks, beating Washington six consecutive years from 1927-33, 10 straight times from 1965-74, and seven times in a row from 2002-08.

In the latter streak, the Pete Carroll-coached and Carson Palmer-Matt Leinart-Reggie Bush-led Trojans won those seven by an average of 27.7 points per game, capped by a 56-0 blowout win in 2008.

Nobody really hates the Trojans for it. Reasonable Husky fans expect such occasional dominance by the Trojans given the athletes to whom they have ready access.

But for Oregon, perhaps a more bitter UW rival than Washington State, to own the Huskies in nearly identical fashion, without any Heisman winners, without USC’s rich tradition, but with Knight’s cash carrying them forward, must leave UW fans tasting the inside of a chimney.

In the past seven UW-Oregon games, the Ducks have beaten the Huskies by an average of 26.4 point per game. In all of UW history, only the 2002-08 Heisman-laden Trojans whipped Washington worse, and only by a statistical tick.

Not even storied Notre Dame, 8-0 all-time against Washington, has dominated the Huskies as thoroughly as the damnable Ducks, winning the eight by an average margin of 23 points per contest.

Washington’s losing streaks of at least five games to a single opponent, and the opponent’s average margin of victory during the streak (only top 10 listed):

School Years Wins Margin Avg. Win Biggest Victory
Southern Cal 2002-08 7 306-112 27.71 USC 56-0 in 2008
Oregon 2004-10 7 305-120 26.43 Oregon 53-16 in 2010
California 2002-06 5 217-87 26.00 Cal 54-7 in 2003
Southern Cal 1927-33 6 179-23 25.97 USC 48-0 in 1929
Notre Dame 1948-09 8 290-105 23.13 N.D. 46-0 in 1948
Southern Cal 1965-74 10 263-108 15.50 USC 34-0 in 1965
Oregon State 2004-09 6 185-98 14.50 OSU 48-21 in 2009
Arizona State 2002-10 7 228-129 14.10 ASU 44-20 in 2007
UCLA 1952-58 7 146-59 12.43 UCLA 32-7 in 1952
Stanford 1926-30 5 85-24 12.20 Stanford 29-10 in 1926

YourThoughts

  • headoutofsand

    I really thought you folks at SPNW were wiser than to buy into the dimwitted, oft-repeated belief that Oregon’s sucess vs. the Huskies is only due to Phil Knight’s money.  I’m one very well-aged Husky fan who doesn’t need to look into the record books to know that Oregon has been a handful for Husky teams for decades.

    For example, when the Ducks, as underdogs, came into Husky Stadium in 1980, and beat a Rose Bowl-bound Washington team 34-10, was that Knight’s doing?  (That must have been one of the most dominant, thorough 24-point wins in college history.)  How about 1973, when Washington lost 58-0?  1987 and ’88.  I could go on, but you get the idea.  I could even mention some games the Huskies won, but only by the smallest eyelash.  The point being that with relatively few exceptions, Oregon has usually played the Huskies tough, long before Knight showed up with his cash.  No matter who was coaching, whether it was Casanova, Brooks, Belotti or Kelley, Oregon teams have been known not only for their toughness, but especially for their ahead-of-the-curve offenses.

    Yes, having “good facilities” helps, but, due to today’s scholarship limits, there’s a point of diminishing returns; no one team, even with a Daddy Warbucks on board, can hoard every top recruit in the nation.  Washington’s “bad” facilities sure didn’t keep hot-shot recruits Paul Arnold, Kasen Williams, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Jake Locker, etc. from signing on, did they?  I’m as glad as any Husky fan about the new stadium and facilities.  But I don’t kid myself into thinking they’ll be the Final Solution.  And, once they are built, and should Oregon or any other team beat the Huskies, what’ll people around here use for an excuse then? 

          

  • headoutofsand

    I really thought you folks at SPNW were wiser than to buy into the dimwitted, oft-repeated belief that Oregon’s sucess vs. the Huskies is only due to Phil Knight’s money.  I’m one very well-aged Husky fan who doesn’t need to look into the record books to know that Oregon has been a handful for Husky teams for decades.

    For example, when the Ducks, as underdogs, came into Husky Stadium in 1980, and beat a Rose Bowl-bound Washington team 34-10, was that Knight’s doing?  (That must have been one of the most dominant, thorough 24-point wins in college history.)  How about 1973, when Washington lost 58-0?  1987 and ’88.  I could go on, but you get the idea.  I could even mention some games the Huskies won, but only by the smallest eyelash.  The point being that with relatively few exceptions, Oregon has usually played the Huskies tough, long before Knight showed up with his cash.  No matter who was coaching, whether it was Casanova, Brooks, Belotti or Kelley, Oregon teams have been known not only for their toughness, but especially for their ahead-of-the-curve offenses.

    Yes, having “good facilities” helps, but, due to today’s scholarship limits, there’s a point of diminishing returns; no one team, even with a Daddy Warbucks on board, can hoard every top recruit in the nation.  Washington’s “bad” facilities sure didn’t keep hot-shot recruits Paul Arnold, Kasen Williams, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Jake Locker, etc. from signing on, did they?  I’m as glad as any Husky fan about the new stadium and facilities.  But I don’t kid myself into thinking they’ll be the Final Solution.  And, once they are built, and should Oregon or any other team beat the Huskies, what’ll people around here use for an excuse then?