College football teams have met twice in the same season only 49 times since 1950, and the winner usually wins again.
SAN DIEGO — When the Nebraska-Washington Holiday Bowl was announced on Dec. 5, the reaction of most was quizzical.
A rematch of a blowout?
Indeed, Washington’s 56-21 loss to Nebraska on Sept. 18 in Seattle has put a different tenor on this game. Rematches are rare in college football.
According to the website College Football By The Numbers, there have been just 49 since 1950.
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The winner of the first game was 29-18 in the rematches, but a game that was a blowout initially would likely be closer the second time.
Washington hasn’t had one since the World War II era (when travel restrictions meant playing a number of rematches against Northwest schools to fill out the schedule).
But they are becoming more common now due to the addition of conference title games. Nebraska last had a rematch in that fashion in 1999, playing Texas in the regular season and again in the title contest (Texas won the first game, Nebraska the second). The expanded Pac-12 will add a conference title game next year, adding to the chance for a rematch.
Both coaches, however, said the fact the teams have already played was not much of a factor in the preparation for the Holiday Bowl.
“Whatever happened in September, that’s over,” said Nebraska coach Bo Pelini. “That was a long time ago. The teams have changed dramatically and it’s a different time, difference place.”
Said UW’s Steve Sarkisian: “We didn’t change one thing. We prepared from scratch like it was a brand new opponent, and that game that we played them was part of our preparation. It wasn’t more so or less so because we played them before. We did it exactly the same way.”
Adding to the oddity in this case, however, is that Washington and Nebraska are also scheduled to play next Sept. 17 in Lincoln. That means the teams will have three meetings in one calendar year.
Back in black
Washington announced Wednesday it will wear the same all-black uniforms that the Huskies debuted for the Thursday night win over UCLA. That game started the three-game winning streak that netted the bowl invitation.
Washington also wore the black pants for the Apple Cup.
Huskies officials have said the black look won’t be an every-game occurrence but will remain reserved for special occasions.
“I thought they looked sharp the first time around,” Sarkisian said. “The jersey is obviously a bowl gift for the seniors, something we thought we’d give them a neat memento on the way out, so that’s why we chose it. I wanted to wear that and they (the players) were in agreement. Thought it would be kind of fitting wearing it down here.”
• Sarkisian said Wednesday that the Huskies will petition for a redshirt season for junior running back Johri Fogerson, a graduate of Seattle’s O’Dea High School. Fogerson hasn’t played since the first game because of a hip injury. Sarkisian had said earlier he wasn’t sure if Fogerson could get a redshirt year and he would play if he got healthy.
• Pelini and Sarkisian have each worked as an assistant for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. Pelini was asked a question about Sarkisian, and he jokingly replied: “Sark carried Pete for a lot of years.”
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com