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Why Oregon Should Lose to Washington State

This will make some sense, I promise.

Oregon v Washington State
Pullman, WA, 2006; Dixon on the headset, Leaf in his helmet. No wonder we lost.

In case you couldn’t derive it from the title, this piece is about why Oregon should lose to Washington State.

Hear me out.

I am in no way advocating for Oregon to lose to Washington State ON PURPOSE. That would just be silly. Oregon should try to win as hard as they can, something I assume they did against Nebraska and Colorado. And I’m certainly not rooting for a Ducks loss this Saturday; I love my Ducks every day of the year, and would never wish ill on them for any reason. Oregon is eight points shy of a 4-0 record; that certainly isn’t cause to tank for a better draft position, especially since college football doesn’t have a draft - at least not one that’s public information (#NCAAconspiracy).

So, to be clear, I want Oregon to beat Washington State, so so badly. I do not want them to lose, on purpose or otherwise. Don’t @ me about this and slander my mediocre reputation.

However, I do believe that some positives would come out of an Oregon loss to Washington State. So, at the risk of my mentions, here’s why Oregon should lose to Washington State.

Because Oregon needs a PNW losing streak to get its hunger back

When the 2015 season started, Oregon owned the Pacific Northwest. 7 straight against OSU; 8 straight against WSU; 11 straight against Washington. While the streaks against the Huskies and Beavers remain, last year’s overtime win by the Cougs was the first win by a PNW foe against Oregon in Barack Obama’s presidency. The last time Oregon had a losing streak in the PNW, it was against Oregon State in 2006-7. They broke that streak in the most satisfying way imaginable

You can point to that game as the catalyst that set this whole Oregon run of success in motion; four weeks later, they put a hurt on Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl; a year after that, they were in their first Rose Bowl in fifteen years; and a year after that, they were playing for a national title. Maybe it’ll take breaking another losing streak to knock Oregon out of their current rut.

Because we’re a basketball school anyway.

The last time Oregon lost in Pullman, the Oregon basketball team made the Elite Eight the next March. With the Ducks basketball team primed for an excellent season, this extra boost of serendipity couldn’t hurt.

Because the Helfrich Haters get a Sophie’s Choice

Here’s our situation if Oregon loses to Washington State:

  • A 2-3 record
  • A three-game losing streak
  • Best win: Virginia
  • Next opponent: the Washington Huskies

If Oregon loses to Washington State, it wouldn’t be surprising to think that Mark Helfrich is coaching for his job against Washington. And I don’t mean in a “this would be his last year if they lost” kind of way. I mean if they lose to the Huskies on October 8th, Mark Helfrich will be unemployed on October 9th.

So that puts the #FireHelfrich sect of Oregon fandom in a bit of a conundrum: would you rather keep Helfrich a little longer and extend The Streak, or get Helfrich out of your life for good at the price of Washington fans celebrating a win over Oregon on Twitter and Facebook for the first time ever? I just think making the Helf Haters choose between supporting Helfrich and supporting the Huskies is an interesting social experiment.

Because the Palouse actually houses a portal to another dimension, and the only weapon we have against the beasts that live on the other side is stupid-ass football in Pullman.

The Cougars have been doing humanity a brave service for years now, protecting us from hoards of unspeakable horrors that live just behind a portal deep out in the Palouse. Back in the 1990s, one of them got through; the Cougars tried to keep Ryan Leaf under wraps as best they could, but the havoc he unleashed on the world will be felt for decades. A win over Oregon, four weeks after a loss to Eastern Washington, should provide enough energy to keep the portal closed until Cal comes to town in mid-November.

Because we’d get some new narratives to talk about.

Washington State is exactly the team Oregon should be able to beat. Oregon can’t stop the run; Washington State can’t run the ball. Oregon does lots of stupid stuff and loses games with no help; so does Washington State. Oregon has a problem with mobile quarterbacks; Luke Falk has a career total of -186 rushing yards. Every hole Oregon has, Washington State is ill-equipped to exploit. So if Washington State beats Oregon, it will be because some other stuff went wrong: maybe we’ll give up 500 yards passing; maybe we’ll turn the ball over six times; maybe we’ll give up a couple punt return TDs. It’ll be exciting and new! And frankly, it’d do us all some good if we had new things to talk about.

Because we deserve it.

As we all know, football is God’s favorite sport. And God is, if nothing else, spiteful as hell. And I can’t imagine the Lord is particularly happy with us, because we haven’t been suffering nearly enough. We get new clothes every week, we worship another God (the tropical deity St. Marcus), and we’ve done so much winning that it’s turned us into heathens in need of repentance. The Lord does giveth, and He knows He needs to giveth Oregon its first three-game losing streak since 2007. Maybe then we will be more appreciative of His gifts.

Because we’re all just meaningless pieces of flesh meandering about the Earth until our hearts stop beating.

My new book “Football for Nihilists” was due to hit bookstore shelves tomorrow, until I realized I accidentally plagiarized the whole thing from a copy of a Purdue football media guide.

Because of reverse psychology.

The past two weeks, we’ve entered Saturday with the assumption that Oregon will win the game. This has not come to fruition. So maybe, if you read this article a number of times - making sure to refresh the page every time cuz papa needs them sweet, sweet page views - and convince yourself that Oregon should lose, they’ll show up on Saturday and win. Do not fact check me, this is ironclad logic.

Because it will set up Hate Week as, potentially, the most delicious piece of schadenfreude the world has ever seen.

Can you imagine what next week will be like if Oregon loses to Washington State, and Washington beats Stanford? Oh boy, let me paint the word picture for you:

  • Oregon is in shambles.
  • Washington is undefeated, creeping up on the Top 5 in the country.
  • Washington is the Pac-12’s last viable playoff candidate.
  • Washington will enter Autzen with the better quarterback, the better defense, the better special teams, and the better coaching staff.
  • There are Husky fans entering puberty that have never known a Washington win over Oregon in their lifetimes.

We do not know true desperation yet because we have not seen a gangly seventh-grader in a purple shirt sprouting her first mustache hairs and screaming through her braces for Washington football to beat Oregon for the first time in her life.

Now, imagine that despite everything said above, Oregon wins anyway. An upset like that - knocking the Pac-12 out of the playoff hunt for good in Week 6, destroying what could be a great Washington season for no reason other than to cause them anguish, salvaging a hopeless Oregon season - would be pure, uncut, joy of the finest quality. And with two losses and little hope for big bowls, Oregon should turn its attention to the most underrated part of being an underdog - ruining other people’s days and seasons. I’ll let the Delta boys sum it up: