Washington State Cougars vs. Washington Huskies
Date and Time: Saturday, November 25, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA
Opening College Football Odds: Washington -11
Washington State vs. Washington TV Coverage: FOX
Washington State has a ton to play for in this game. If it can pull off the upset in Seattle, it will win the Pac-12 North and have the chance to play against USC for the conference title in Santa Clara. Will wins over Washington and USC be enough to impress the Selection Committee and put it in the top-four? Probably not. But at least Mike Leach's club would be in it with a fight.
It's really hard to complain about anything the Cougars have done this year. Sure, they shouldn't have lost at Cal, and a 58-37 loss at Arizona wasn't a good look either, but this is one of the two teams in the land to beat USC, and the victory over Boise State is looking better and better as the Broncos win more games. Even that triumph over Oregon and the ones over Stanford and Utah are gaining more and more merit as time goes on.
This is the final Apple Cup in the career of Luke Falk. The senior quarterback has been remarkable for the Cougars in his career, throwing for 12,253 yards and 105 touchdowns. He hasn't been quite as sharp this year as in season's past, but there's no denying that he's the emotional leader of this team and the reason why it's come from nowhere a few years ago to the verge of its first Pac-12 championship since 2002.
Washington's title dreams probably went up in smoke when it was beaten by Stanford two weeks ago. The Huskies did come back and bounce Utah 33-30 in a wild game last Saturday night, but that won't do anything to move the needle nationally. The best Chris Petersen's team can hope for is a spot in the New Year's Six, perhaps the Fiesta Bowl against the AAC winner.
Even that, though, is far from a given. Winning this game is a must, but all that the Huskies can do by winning this game is put Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game in place of Washington State.
Falk has done a lot in his career, but one thing he hasn't done is play well against U-Dub.
The senior has been crushed by the Huskies 45-10 and 45-17 in his two shots at the Apple Cup, and in those games, the Cougs have amassed a total of just 653 yards. For a team that routinely throws for over 350 yards in games, Washington State cannot afford to be lacking in the passing game.
That said, this is the worst version of the Washington secondary we've seen in years, thus giving Falk his best chance for success.
Washington State vs. Washington Free Picks
We absolutely do not understand what the Huskies have done to warrant laying double-digits in this game at all of the top internet sportsbooks. The Cougars might ultimately be fool's gold this year, but they've played their hearts out every step of the way and have proven that, at their best, they're good enough to beat anyone in this conference.
There's something to be said about the history of this series and the fact that Petersen has seemed to find the right formula to shut down the "Air Raid." That said, this is a lot of points in a game that will mean a lot more to Wazzu than it does to U-Dub.
College Football ATS Pick: Washington State +11 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Washington 38, Washington State 33