The Huskies are almost certainly headed to either the Alamo Bowl or the Holiday Bowl after their big Apple Cup win over WSU.
The Huskies’ postseason possibilities are down to two options* as USC and Stanford prepare for Friday’s Pac-12 championship game:
If USC wins the Pac-12 title, the Huskies will likely get an invitation to the Dec. 28 Alamo Bowl (where they would play a Big 12 team, perhaps Oklahoma State).
If Stanford wins the Pac-12 title, the Huskies will likely get an invitation to the Dec. 28 Holiday Bowl (where they would play a Big Ten team, perhaps Northwestern).
Even if Stanford loses Friday, the Alamo Bowl could opt to select Stanford over UW. The Cardinal would have a 9-4 record in that scenario, which isn’t as pretty as the Huskies’ 10-2, but Stanford did beat the Huskies on Nov. 10, it did just beat a respectable Notre Dame team and it does have a legitimate Heisman candidate in Bryce Love. Could be a coin flip for the Alamo.
Either way, the Holiday will be happy to have either Stanford or UW.
*Some Husky fans have asked about the possibility of a New Year’s Six berth for UW. In short, that’s extremely unlikely.
That’s not to say the Huskies don’t deserve consideration for a NY6 bowl — they do. After next weekend’s conference championship games, there’s a decent chance the Huskies could move up to around the No. 10 spot in the AP Top 25, and a top-10 ranking is an easier sell in many regards.
The Fiesta Bowl will almost certainly select the winner of the Pac-12 championship game. The Fiesta folks would no doubt be thrilled with a USC-Ohio State matchup.
The Cotton Bowl would be the only other NY6 bowl that might maybe perhaps could consider looking in UW’s direction. Right now, a TCU-Penn State matchup seems likely there, and that sets up just about perfectly for the Cotton — a team from Texas vs. a Big Ten team with big-time star power.
Remember, when comparing similarly ranked teams for bowl games, it’s not just about resumes. Yes, Penn State and Washington both are 10-2 (and 7-2 in conference), but part of the Cotton’s calculus has to be Penn State’s greater Q-Rating, which will help sell tickets and attract more eyeballs. Which is what a NY6 game is all about.
Pac-12 bowl game projections
Foster Farms: Washington State
Sun: Arizona State
Las Vegas: Arizona
At large: Utah
At large: UCLA