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The Front Row with JASON ELLIOTT December 4, 2010

| December 4, 2010 8:00 PM

Between college basketball and football bowl games - most have a reason to be optimistic that good things are about to happen for their respective teams.

While someone's going to win today's Apple Cup, the same can't be said for those fans of teams in Washington state.

WHILE IT doesn't surprise me that the Seattle Mariners haven't signed a big free agent so far, I was a little shocked to hear of the re-signing they did make.

Left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard received a one-year deal on Thursday night, continuing a career with the Mariners that has seen him on the disabled list more than the pitching mound.

Seattle cut ties with former All-Star Jose Lopez, trading him to Colorado for a Triple-A pitcher and declined to offer Ryan Rowland-Smith a new contract.

When Felix Hernandez won the AL Cy Young a few weeks ago, there was a time to be hopeful and optimistic that the team could turn the corner sooner than later.

Not so much anymore.

While the trade for Bedard looked good a few years ago, he has yet to meet the high expectations that came after being acquired from Baltimore.

And likely, never will.

AS BAD as the Washington Huskies football team has been at times, they can achieve something that they haven't done in a while today - go to a bowl game with a win.

Standing in the way are the Washington State Cougars in the Apple Cup, a game that most believe the Huskies will win easily today in Pullman.

On paper, Washington has the better team, more experience and what should be more talent. However, as the Huskies enter today's game with the Cougars, they'll likely have to deal with a snowstorm that could play a big factor in the outcome of the game.

Snow was a huge factor in the Cougars' win over the Huskies in 1992, when UW was attempting to defend a national title.

While neither team will resemble a team from that era today, it still should be an entertaining game if you can find it on television (Versus).

AT LEAST the Seattle Seahawks still have a chance for the playoffs, although they look nothing like any other team in the NFC race this year.

Thanks to a lousy division, Seattle has shown some bright spots this season, already sweeping defending NFC West champion Arizona.

Divisional games against St. Louis and San Francisco will determine who goes to the playoffs and who stays home to watch.

On the bright side, the 1-10 Carolina Panthers come to Seattle on Sunday afternoon.

The last time Carolina came to Qwest Field, it was the biggest win in franchise history as it put them into the Super Bowl for the first time.

Right now, I'd just settle for a win rather than sour apples.

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d'Alene Press. He can be reached via telephone at 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or via e-mail at jelliott@cdapress.com.

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