It's harder to find anyone picking the Huskies than it is finding moss the southern side of stump.
The list of things that are harder to find than someone picking the Huskies to upset Alabama in the Peach Bowl on Saturday is a short one. Known habitable planets beyond earth, good teriyaki in Tuscaloosa and skyline photos of Seattle without a crane present about sums it up.
Vegas betting lines ballooned to favor the Crimson Tide by as much as 17 points but have since dipped to an even two touchdowns. There’s little faith in the Huskies’ chances to prevail, but that’s not to disparage Chris Petersen’s squad. It’s possible they will be facing the greatest college football team ever assembled.
Without further ado, here’s a slew of experts picking Crimson Tide victories:
Nine of 10 panelists pick Alabama. 55 percent of readers pick Washington by an average of eight points. Get your pick in here.
Adam Jude: Alabama 24, Washington 16. “There’s been so much talk about the Alabama defense, and with good reason. Overlooked a bit is UW’s defense, which will have a chance to showcase itself on the big stage too. The Huskies will probably need at least one score from the defense to keep it close, but ultimately there’s just too much stacked against UW while playing in what amounts to a road game 2,500 miles away from Seattle.”
Larry Stone: Alabama 24, Washington 21. “I’m not quite prepared to pick the upset, but with so much time to prepare, Chris Petersen will erase most of the 15-point spread. Not all of it, however. Alabama is loaded with too much talent to let this one get away.”
Matt Calkins: Alabama 28, Washington 14. “The Huskies’ defense is good enough not to be overwhelmed, but Bama’s D will make it too tough to score now matter how on point Jake Browning is.”
All seven panelists pick Alabama.
Andy Staples: Alabama 34, Washington 18. “If Alabama has a weakness, it’s secondary depth following Eddie Jackson’s season-ending injury against Texas A&M. In Browning, the Huskies have the best quarterback Alabama has faced, so it’s possible Washington could do some damage through the air. But if Alabama’s defense makes Washington one-dimensional, the Tide can stop the Huskies and give the ball to their offense to ground out a win.”
Four of seven panelists pick the Huskies against the spread (-15.5). All seven pick Alabama straight up.
Tom Fornelli: Alabama 41, Washington 14. “While Washington lines up pretty well with Alabama on both sides of the ball — better than most other teams, honestly — there’s one area I truly fear: the battle of Washington’s offensive line against the Alabama defensive line. The best front seven the Huskies have faced this season was USC, and the Trojans defense had a field day against the Huskies, pressuring Jake Browning all day and just causing chaos in the backfield.”
All 20 panelists pick Alabama…except Lee Corso on College Gameday.
Mark Schlabach: Alabama 27, Washington 10. “We can try to pretend the Peach Bowl will be close because we want to watch a competitive game. It won’t be. Tide roll.”
Lee Corso: “The Huskies have not allowed an opponent to score a single defensive or special teams touchdown all year. Against Alabama, that’s big. … Washington’s going to upset Alabama. They are the best and most complete football team Alabama has played all year. Chris Petersen, he’s a young version of Nick Saban.
Christopher Walsh: “I like Washington a lot and believe the selection committee was correct to put the Huskies in the playoff. But they don’t match up particularly well with the Crimson Tide. Alabama’s offense will come out going side to side, getting those 300-pound linemen moving, and then hit Washington with the power-running game. Defensively, the Tide’s front seven is just too good and will be the difference.”
Michael Felder: “Washington is going to make some big plays, but Alabama wears on teams. The Huskies, especially with the front-seven injuries, just won’t have the depth to keep up with the Tide. I expect the same game we’ve seen several times. It’s tight through 30, and then, as we close in on minute 45, the dam breaks, and it is tough to stop Alabama.”
Lauren Sisler: Alabama 34, Washington 21. “Jake Browning can be very dangerous in the pocket. Did you see what Ole Miss did to Alabama? Did you see what Arkansas did to Alabama? I think they’re going to have the ability to put some points on the board. But Alabama’s going to come out here, they’re going to take care of business [and] they’re going to run up the scoreboard.”
Kevin Scarbinsky: Alabama 33, Washington 10. “I’ve got a world of respect for Chris Petersen. He is the master of the upset. … I think you’re going to see some of that trickery and deceit in this game vs. Alabama. It’s not going to be enough. When they played a team comparable to Alabama in USC, they lost 26-13. If they can only score 13 on USC, they ain’t scoring 21 on Alabama.”