Fans never cut you any slack. Lose a game, and they reactively want you fired. They can't help themselves. They're emotionally invested. 

Media members and former players, who typically get a closer look at the inner workings of each University of Washington football team, scoff at this while viewing themselves as honest critics but more restrained voices of reason. 

After a pair of disturbing Husky outcomes, those lines might be blurring. 

Hey, even the chronic whiners might be spot on.

Jimmy Lake's football program is a mess right now. Everyone is in agreement about that.

Dare we say this, the coach is in trouble.

On a day in which the direction of bitter rival Oregon took a huge step forward — with possibly the biggest victory in school history — the Huskies perilously went in the other direction.

These Northwest neighbors were separated by 190 miles of Midwest interstate, but they looked worlds apart.

Even shorthanded, the Ducks went into Ohio State, took every punch that was landed like the heroic Cinderella Man and walked away with an impressive 35-28 victory in Columbus, looking every bit like Russell Crowe in the gladiator pit as well as in the boxing ring.

The Huskies have been knocked out twice now. Left prone on the canvas, with people carefully stepping over them, in search of smelling salts. 

And not only has Lake's team lost, it looks and sounds lost.

In a postgame radio interview, junior wide receiver Terrell Bynum talked about the Huskies lacking emotion, this coming a week after senior edge rusher Ryan Bowman made a similar claim. 

This absence of juice would rest squarely on the head coach. 

Yet he has other problems.

The John Donovan-designed offense fools absolutely no one, from the FBS to the FCS. Tailback Richard Newton runs hard but way too high. Offensive linemen stand there, looking for someone to block. The guys holding the football behind them are getting splattered.