Yesterday, two nimrod ESPN announcers with bad haircuts and worse suits debated whether the 2010 Oregon Ducks Football team could have beaten the best defensive team to ever walk on the field, the 1991 Washington Huskies.
Once every Husky fan across Washington picked himself off the floor after a dozen minutes of side-splitting laughter, we fans yearned for that famed team that knocked off No. 9 Nebraska and No. 7 California on their way to total college football domination in every way possible before routing No. 4 Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
These two TV twirps claimed, "it would be a close game," because "Oregon is the best offensive powerhouse we’ve ever seen." Quite an ironic claim, given that this is the same argument they were trying to make before the Ducks barely limped by California last month.
You remember that game right? The one where Oregon waddled past an unimpressive 5-4 Golden Bear team by a mere two points. And that required a stutter-step miscue by California kicker Giorgio Tavecchio in the fourth quarter to erase what would have been the go-ahead field goal.
The absurdity of such a suggestion is blasphemy deserving of torture and stake-burning. The Ducks are hardly qualified to clean the jocks of Steve Entman and company, let alone last four quarters on a football field against them.
And the arrogance of these pip-squeaks! To think a newly arrived Duck team could ever compare to the storied history of the Huskies is enough to give even the most apathetic Washington fan stomach cramps, especially since the Ducks have written some of the worst football history ever known to mankind!
Let’s have a look, shall we?
Wikipedia says this about that Husky team (learned only after several hostile pop-ups by Wikimedia Executive Director Sue Gardner trying to leverage cash donations):
"The Washington Huskies football team have won 15 Pacific-10 Conference Championships, seven Rose Bowl Titles and four National Championships. Washington's all-time record of 653-398-50 ranks 20th in all-time winning percentage and 21st in all-time victories.
"The team also has two of the nation's longest winning streaks and holds the Division I-FBS unbeaten record at 63 consecutive games."
OK, now let’s compare this to Oregon Duck history.
Hey what’s this? I see that the Oregon Ducks began their stellar tradition of running up football scores against weaker teams back in 1910, when Chip Kelly’s great-great grandfather, Benito Kelly, ordered a hurry-up offense with a scant 108-point lead late in the fourth quarter against the University of Puget Sound to win 115-0.
Kelly claimed it wasn’t his fault because the 1910 BCS would have punished his team in the final poll.
According to cash-strapped Wikipedia, the Oregon Ducks have won six Pacific-10 Conference Championships (counting this year’s), one single Rose Bowl (during the first world war era) and zero National Championships. Oregon’s all-time record of 585-474-47 ranks so far down that there is no overall ranking.
Ironically however, the all-yellow uniforms the Ducks wore in 2009 are rated the number one cause of all eye problems in 2010.
Suppose it’s for those reasons that Oregon and the rest of the sissy Pac-10 conference were all happy when the Huskies stumbled to 0-12 under Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham a couple years ago? Finally revenge for the oft-slaughtered and maimed Pac-10 speed bumps.
All told and put into proper perspective, it means the 2010 version of the Oregon Ducks is like a sensitive men’s figure skating team wearing pink leotards, in comparison to the 1991 Huskies. The Ducks aren’t worthy of cleaning the ’91 Husky toilets with tooth brushes.
ESPN ran a survey a decade ago in which readers rated that particular Husky team as the third-best ever in college football, behind only the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers and the 1994 Penn State squad.
Most die-hard Husky homers would probably admit, however, that the early 1970's USC teams could have given any college team fits, as well as some of the mid-century Notre Dame teams.
But the Ducks?
Well I’m sorry, but if LaMichael James tried one of his finesse tip-toe sally runs up the middle against Steve Emtman and two-time All-American Dave Hoffman, he likely would be picking his head out of the 15th row end stands mixed with chips and corn nuts.
Which team would win?
If you remember, nobody ran up the middle against Steve Emtman and the 1991 Huskies. Oh sure, there were those fools who tried, like Michigan’s QB Elvis Grbac in the 1992 Rose Bowl or Arizona’s George Malauulu to start the 1991 game, but few tried that more than a couple times. None were so foolish.
Perhaps because Emtman and Hoffman were the anchors of a UW defense that allowed just 67.1 rushing yards and 9.2 points per game, both numbers among the best in NCAA history?
Emtman was just the ninth collegiate player ever to win both the Outland and Lombardi Trophies in the same year, and was the fourth-place finisher in voting for the 1991 Heisman Trophy before becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
And it wasn’t only the opposition that got under Steve Emtman’s skin. In 1991, Sports Illustrated ran a story describing how Emtman had no problem getting in the face of his teammates if they didn’t perform up to then-Husky standards, in both games and every day practices.
In fact, 76,304 Nebraska fans, who certainly had seen their share of national championship appearances in the 1980’s and 90’s, gave that same 1991 UW team a standing ovation as the Huskies exited the field following their landmark come-from-behind road win in Lincoln over the then-No. 9 ranked Cornhuskers.
The same Cornhuskers who the previous year had the nation’s number one rated offense!
The 1991 Washington football team led the Pac-10 in total offense, rushing offense and scoring offense.
Even after Rose Bowl MVP Mark Brunell missed the first two-thirds of the season with a broken knee suffered during spring practices, the Huskies rolled.
And there was sensational receiver Orlando McKay, running back Beno Bryant, future NFL all-pro Lincoln Kennedy, middle guard D’Marco Farr, bruising linebacker Chico Fraley, future NFL Pro Bowl cornerback Dana Hall, Darius Turner, Mario Bailey, Donald Jones and too many other stars to mention.
It was simply a great team whose time had come, and although that team never had a shot at co-champ wuss Miami, few in Huskyville doubt what the outcome would have been.
Nor do they doubt what would happen to the 2010 Oregon Duck offense's prowess if they faced a defense as stout as the 1991 Washington Huskies.
So Oregon, our Husky hats are off to your so-far undefeated team heading into the BCS National championship, but let’s keep things in perspective shall we?
The 1991 Husky team would be spitting out your feathers in two quarters. I’m sorry. Don't shoot the messenger here. That’s just the way it is.
So yes ESPN, there actually is a huge difference between the 1991 Washington Huskies and the 2010 Oregon Ducks.
The Huskies were a much better team.