It rains 150 days a year. So what! With a stadium right on the water, and majestic Mount Rainer off in the distance, there is no better place to watch a college football game in the West. Seattle, Washington, ranks ninth on our Top 100 College Football Towns of America Countdown.
To celebrate 100 days until the start of the college football season, HERO Sports is counting down the Top 100 FBS College Football Towns in America. Each day, through Aug. 24, a new city will be revealed. We will analyze the city, the program, the good and bad of the city as well as the bottom line. If you got a problem, @me on Twitter.
9. Seattle, Washington — Washington
[credit]The Huskies are always in contention for the College Football Playoff with Chris Petersen at the helm. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)[/credit]
Washington's history is full of enough moments to deem them a relevant program…and then there was Don James. (If we want to get technical, we can talk about Gilmour Dobie's nine-year unbeaten streak from 1908-16, where he amassed a 59-0-3 record…if you want to get technical.)
After two average seasons, the Hall of Fame coach entrusted his offense to some guy named Warren Moon and the Huskies would never look back. U-Dub would go to 14 bowl games in 16 seasons. The Huskies would win four out of six Rose Bowl appearances. James would also lead Washington to 22-straight wins and a 1991 National Championship.
Unfortunately, James left the program unceremoniously 18 months after winning that title. The Seattle Times and Los Angeles Times broke stories contending improper benefits were given to Washington football players. The dreaded "lack of institutional control" was thrown around recklessly, and James resigned in protest. He, among others, felt there was a clear biased against the program, highlighted by unfair sanctions for "minor infractions," according to James.
What is clear is the turbulent times took their toll on the program. After finishing ranked in the AP Poll 11 out of 18 years with James, Washington would finish ranked just seven times in the 25 years since. The lowest point coming in 2008, when Tyrone Willingham "lead" Washington to a 0-12 record.
The buzz is back in Seattle, however. Chris Petersen was lured away from Boise State and has taken the Huskies to the College Football Playoff and the Fiesta Bowl in back-to-back years. In 2018, four-year starter Jake Browning returns along with 16 other starters from 2017 to give Washington a really good chance of making the College Football Playoff again.
If the Huskies can get past Auburn in Week 1, the path really opens up with only one real road test in Salt Lake City. The rest of the heavyweights come to Seattle, but neither USC nor Arizona were scheduled in the wacky Pac-12 conference schedule alignment.
All those living in Seattle would love for you to believe that Seattle is the cold and dreary place where you are always wet and always sad. They want you to believe that the Grunge music that originated there, and bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Alice in Chains reflect the overall mood and grayness that seems to rest over the city skyline like a blanket of sadness.
The truth is, Seattle is one of the most beautiful places in the country. It is green and lush. Waterways and rolling hillsides dotted with ferns and big evergreens personify the mutual love Seattle has with nature. When the sky is blue–and when its blue, the stark contrast between the green terrain and the bright blue sky is one of the true wonders your eyes can see–the Cascade and Olympic mountains peacock and it amazes me that more people don't get into accidents from staring too long.
There's coffee and seafood, the Space Needle and Pike's Place, Lake Washingon and Puget Sound, Mount Rainier and Mount Olympus. In Seattle, they have the Alpha and the Omega.
While the Huskies fall well behind the Seahawks, Sounders and even the Sonics, those who have stuck with Washington through the bad have been rewarded. Washington's attendance ranked 21st in the nation, and second for any college west of the Rockies in 2017.
Maybe it's the nostalgia that resonates within us all, but the Seattle Pinball Museum is a must do. Don't worry about damaging the art in this museum. This is more your 80s arcade than a stuffy museum. Guests can play any game in the museum, plus there are snacks, drinks and local beers.
Head to Seattle at your own risk. People in the Northwest have been talking about "The Really Big One" for along time. Seismologists believe that region will "suffer the worst natural disaster in North American history."
"Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast,” said Kenneth Murphy, FEMA regional director in charge of the Pacific Northwest.
With Washington football slowly becoming the best in the Pac-12, and a city that can give you all the feels, there's no reason not to hop a flight up and see a game at Husky Stadium, just make sure it's not the same weekend as "The Really Big One."