Good morning from the shadow of the Gateway Arch, and thanks a lot, Utah. If you’re a fan of seeing the Washington State Cougars in Las Vegas, or if you’re a fan of money (or both!) that’s what you’re saying this morning. Why? Well, because as we’re all aware, the Utah Utes seized upon their opportunity at a College Football Playoff berth by by crapping the bed in Santa Clara.
It wasn’t only that the Utes lost, it’s that the final score shows that there weren’t very competitive. So now we have a former CFP contender who didn’t beat one ranked team all season competing against the likes of the Penn State Nittany Lions and Auburn Tigers for the one available New Year’s Six bowl game. As WSU fans, we’re well-versed in how that will play out.
The second-order effect is the fact that Utah likely cost each Pac-12 school a six-figure windfall that would have come with a second school making the NY6. Think WSU could have used that cash?! So for the second straight season, the Pac-12 will probably send just one team to that group of bowls, while even the garbage heap of a conference known as the ACC will get two. So anyway, thanks a lot, Utah. I’m rooting for your second straight Holiday Bowl.
As for the Cougs, as others wrote before, the shifts at the top will likely result in a trip to Phoenix for the Cheez-It Bowl. The shuffle atop the Big 12, given the fact that Oklahoma will be in the CFP and Baylor in the Sugar Bowl, means that the Big 12 won’t be able to fill its allotted slots. As a result, the Cougs will likely face a Mountain West foe. From what I’ve seen, and as I’ll link below, the pundits seem to think that opponent will be the San Diego State Aztecs. I’ve also seen Air Force in there, and would not be excited at the prospect of facing that offense.
If it is San Diego State, something will have to give when the Aztec offense is on the field. They’ve scored more than 30 points just once all season, and haven’t put up more than 20 since mid-October. So in other words a lot like the Cal offense that scored 33 on WSU.
For those of you who are a little disappointed that WSU won’t be heading to Vegas (probably), I must say that I’m much happier about the prospect of a bowl game in Tempe. Bowls on that first weekend are tricky. The team isn’t able to max out its practice time, and the coaches are busy trying to wrap up much of the next recruiting class, scheduled to send it LOIs on 18 December. Playing six days later gives the staff a lot more time and space to focus on both the class and the upcoming game.
It also means that we’ll likely see Chris Petersen face his old Boise State Broncos team for his final game on the Washington sideline. That should be pretty intriguing, and will also finalize the list of Power Five teams that Washington beat in bowl games during Petersen’s time with the Huskies. In case you haven’t seen it, here is that list:
Resident Pac-12 hack Jon Wilner is at it again, feigning apoplexy at the idea that the Alamo Bowl could pass over Utah and take USC. Wilner uses last season as an example, when he was upset that the Alamo Bowl had the audacity to pass Utah to take WSU. You might recall WSU in 2018 as a team that had a better overall record, a better conference record, and oh yes A TEAM THAT BEAT UTAH. I’ll let you find the article yourself, but it’s 100% on-brand.
Bowl projections, updated and explained each week by Jason Kirk - Banner Society
The newest predictions are below, with some other chitter chatter throughout. Updated December 7.
College football bowl projections
Here's how our experts see the bowl matchups, just in front of the season's final College Football Playoff rankings.
Bowl Projections, College Football Playoff Predictions: Final Picks
Before they come out on Sunday, here’s the final call on the CollegeFootballNews.com bowl projections, picks and predictions for the College Football Playoff.
CJ Elleby shines as Washington State outlasts New Mexico State at Spokane Arena | The Spokesman-Review
Elleby fired in a game-high 20 points after a slow start, and WSU (5-4) collected a nonconference win against the Aggies (5-5) in its annual trip to Spokane.
John Blanchette: Washington State sophomore CJ Elleby’s restraint a sign of maturity | The Spokesman-Review
The game’s final pass went deep beyond the defensive pressure to CJ Elleby, all alone in the frontcourt with but a few unimpeded steps between himself and the ritualistic exclamation-point dunk.
This Week in Parenting
I haven’t been home this week, but Mrs. Kendall appears to be having some fun with Charlie the Elf. Uhh...errrrr...I mean old Charlie landed in a weird place after he got back from his nightly visit to Santa!
But seriously, when I get home we’re gonna have to sit down with Charlie and have a difficult discussion about his drinking habits.
Best beer I had this week: St Louis may be a, well, let’s just say it’s not the most beautiful of American cities, but as with many other places, there are some great craft beers to be had around here. I consulted the Oracle at Tacoma (Craig Powers) to find out where to go. He suggested Side Project, which is apparently quite renowned around the country. I made the trip up there yesterday - after consuming a sensational rack of ribs at Pappy’s Smokehouse - and tried one of their rare menu choices. Among several beers I’ve had thus far, Derivation #12 was the best.
Constellation unloads $1 billion craft-beer acquisition Ballast Point to Chicago-area brewery - MarketWatch
A price was not announced, though it is likely to be a significant discount from the $1 billion that Constellation spent when it acquired Ballast Point in 2015, the largest single amount ever paid for a craft beer company.
A Bike Ride Through the Garden of Good and Evil | Outside Online
On July 29, 2018, Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan were murdered by terrorists in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan—everyone had an opinion about it.