As it turns out, the joke’s on UW! The Washington State Cougars will, in fact, be heading to Santa Clara despite the loss at Montlake.
I mean, minor detail that it’s not for the Pac-12 Championship AND it’s after Christmas and not this Friday, but lets ignore that fact!
With just one more weekend full of college football left (currently holding back tears), the bowl picture has come almost entirely into focus. After a hectic few weeks of possibilities running from the Fiesta Bowl to, inexplicably on the Sporting News’ part, the Texas Bowl, it’s a near certainty where the Cougs will be headed at this point. Who their opponent will be ... still very much up in the air. There are certainly better ones than others though! And, most importantly, the Cougs could have as many wins in Levi’s Stadium as the San Francisco 49ers this year!
Before we get to it though, a reminder of the Pac-12’s bowl tie-ins for this season.
- TBD NY6 Bowl
- Alamo Bowl: Dec. 28th, 6:00 p.m. on ESPN vs. Big 12
- Holiday Bowl: Dec. 28th, 6:00 p.m. on FS1 vs. Big Ten
- Foster Farms Bowl: Dec. 27th, 5:30 p.m. on FOX vs. Big Ten
- Sun Bowl: Dec. 29th, 12:00 p.m. on CBS vs. ACC/Notre Dame
- Las Vegas Bowl: Dec. 16th, 12:30 p.m. on ABC vs. Mountain West
- Cactus Bowl: Dec. 26th, 6:00 p.m. on ESPN vs. Big 12
Note: The Rose Bowl, normally an automatic bid for the Pac-12 Champion, is a College Football Playoff semifinal this year and is not included in the conference’s tie ins.
SB Nation: Foster Farms Bowl
I, too, want to go to a bowl game named after a thing I get in a six pound bag from a freezer at Costco. The good news is the mothership believes we’ll face the Purdue Boilermakers, which I really feel like are the Foster Farms chicken of the Big Ten.
Or something. Look, it has been weeks of Foster Farms projections and I’m running out of jokes. Email me your best and I’ll run them with credit.
CBS: Foster Farms Bowl
Heeeeeeeere’s where it gets kinda interesting (relatively) because it’s something that could actually happen! Three Big Ten teams in the CFP plus the NY6 would mean they don’t have enough bowl eligible teams to fill this spot (meanwhile, it’s the #4 spot in bad years for the Pac-12) so the Cougs would have to play a replacement ... like the Utah State Aggies.
ESPN: Foster Farms Bowl
Both Bonagura and Hale have the Cougs in Santa Clara. Playing the Iowa Hawkeyes would be kind of interesting! There are those pesky Aggies from Logan again, too. Imagine those story lines the Logan Herald Journal (I didn’t know it, I looked it up) could write, though.
SI: Foster Farms Bowl
Playing the Fresno State Bulldogs would be a hell of a challenge and the possibility losing to another Mountain West team would be ... not ideal.
Sporting News: Sun Bowl
I’m linking this for one reason and one reason only: the team they have replacing us in the Foster Farms Bowl, the Oregon Ducks, can’t actually happen. The Foster Farms can pick from Washington State (6-3 in conference), the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-3 in conference) or the Arizona Wildcats (5-4 in conference). As you may know by now, anything down to the Sun Bowl can reach down a level and grab a different team if they so choose. Problem is, the Oregon Ducks, while bowl eligible, are 4-5 in conference ... so they literally can’t play in the Foster Farms.