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WSU bowl projections: Sun Bowl is the heavy favorite

Most bowl prognosticators see WSU heading to El Paso for a bowl the game the day after Christmas.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Boy, that went pretty well, didn't it?

Your Washington State Cougars beat a ranked team on the road with a touchdown to basically end the game, got to 7-3, got ranked, and guaranteed their first winning season since 2003.

Not a bad weekend, all things considered.

That's all the good news. The bad news is if you're a fan of better bowls, Saturday's results really didn't help too much. Actually, they didn't help at all; they did the exact opposite. Stanford's loss to Oregon all but assures they won't be in the College Football Playoff and Utah's loss to Arizona took any hope the Utes had at the CFP and squashed it. That means the conference champion is assuredly headed to the Rose Bowl now and there won't be an extra spot in any of the Pac-12's bowl tie-ins. For your reference again, here they are:

#1 Team: Rose Bowl vs. Big Ten (Pasadena, CA)
#2 Team: Alamo Bowl vs. Big 12 (San Antonio, TX)
#3 Team: Holiday Bowl vs. Big Ten (San Diego, CA)
#4 Team: Foster Farms Bowl vs. Big Ten (Santa Clara, CA)
#5 Team: Sun Bowl vs. ACC (El Paso, TX)
#6 Team: Las Vegas Bowl vs. Mountain West (Las Vegas, NV)
#7 Team: Cactus Bowl vs. Big 12 (Phoenix, AZ)

A reminder that bowl committees can reach down up to one spot if they'd rather have that team than the one that's slotted to them. For example: if the Cougs were slotted to play in the Holiday Bowl but the Alamo Bowl really wanted them, they could take them. WSU's win on Saturday almost assures they'll be getting an autobid so these are the ones you're working with.

There is a heavy favorite amongst bowl prognosticators. Your wallet probably isn't going to be a huge fan.

SB Nation: Sun Bowl, Dec. 26th, 11 a.m. on CBS

The day after Christmas into an airport that's not easily accessible from the Pacific Northwest for an early game isn't an ideal travel situation for a majority of WSU's alums. But the Sun Bowl was the first in a string of three bowls the Cougs went to in 2001 so ... probably a not bad sign considering the next one they went to. SB Nation thinks the Cougs will be facing off against the North Carolina State Wolfpack in this one.

Extra bonus: if you're staying at home to watch, Verne Lundquist has called this game quite a few times! I could dig some Uncle Vern yelling "OH! MY!" at this offense.

ESPN: Sun Bowl or Foster Farms Bowl, Dec. 26th, 6:15 p.m. on ESPN

ESPN's predictions by Brett McMurphy and Mark Schlabach are split but both still feature a game on the day after Christmas. The one advantage to Schlabach's prediction is getting to San Jose for a late game the day after Christmas is certainly a lot easier from Seattle, Portland, Spokane, etc. Too bad it'll take you 5 hours to get out of the stadium's parking lot. Great job, Jed.

Schlabach predicts a crimson-on-crimson affair, slotting the Indiana Hoosiers into the game with WSU. McMurphy thinks the Cougs will see the Pitt Panthers in El Paso.

CBS: Sun Bowl

Third straight week for Jerry Palm putting the Cougs in El Paso. The only change Palm makes is with the opponent and he happens to agree with SB Nation.

College Sports Madness: Las Vegas Bowl, Dec. 19th, 12:30 p.m. on ABC

The last hold out we can find for putting the Cougs in Las Vegas, College Sports Madness thinks they'll head to Sin City. I'm starting to lean away from this because, even if Washington State does end up slotted for this bowl, there's a good chance the Sun Bowl reach down and snag them. Probably the only way WSU ends up in this game is if Oregon is in the Sun Bowl (as College Sports Madness predicts) or if they get all the way down to the Cactus Bowl and the Vegas Bowl reaches down.

Although this projection has WSU played Brigham Young so the fight for #GoCougs can finally be waged.


More predictions will be coming out today and tomorrow. We'll add them as they do.