Watched the end to the Army-Navy game wondering how Husky fans were feeling — take away a play or two of the UW-UCLA game and it could easily have been Washington that the Midshipmen were sending to a bowl game with their win today.
Instead, it’s UCLA that got a bid to the EagleBank Bowl when Navy beat Army 17-3. UCLA will play Temple Dec. 29, and just as important — in the eyes of coaches, anyway — get a couple extra weeks of practice. That’s something UW coach Steve Sarkisian said this week would have been particularly useful for the Huskies this season, the extra 15 practices a team can get for a bowl game (though reality is these days, with the lenthening regular season and the earlier start to the bowl season, a lot of teams aren’t using all 15 these days).
UCLA getting to a bowl, however, means seven Pac-10 teams get invites — all but UW, Arizona State and WSU.
It also means the Huskies played nine bowl teams this season — the seven Pac-10 teams that are going bowling, plus Idaho and LSU — going 4-5 in those games (and a frustrating 1-2 against non-bowl teams, beating WSU but losing to ASU and Notre Dame).
So a bowl game obviously was right within this team’s reasonable grasp this season, and should be next year, especially if Jake Locker returns (and while I don’t know anything concrete on that topic, there seems to be an increasing optimism that he will return next season).
Seven conference teams in a bowl ties a Pac-10 record that has only been done once before, in 2002. In that year, the Pac-10 went 2-5 in bowl games, including UW’s 34-24 loss to Purdue in what is the last bowl appearance for the Huskies.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— I was wrong the other day when I said only three UW commits were still playing. RB Melvin Davis of Narbonne High in the Los Angeles area was also still alive until today as his team was defeated by Crenshaw 34-14 for the LA City Section title. Davis had both of the TD runs for his team.
— So who I’m pretty sure is the last UW commit still playing is WR/DB Keanon Lowe, whose Jesuit High team plays for the state 6A title tonight. Here’s a preview of the game with some glowing words of praise for Lowe from the opposing coach, calling him the best free safety he has ever coached against.
— Looks like there may not be any head coaching turnover in the Pac-10 this year as Turner Gill will be the new head coach at Kansas and not Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh, as had been rumored last night.
— Some really interesting win-loss numbers for Pac-10 teams this decade compiled by Anthony Gimino of the Tucson Citizen. In what shouldn’t be a surprise, the Huskies didn’t fare well, going 31-53 in Pac-10 games this decade, worst in the conference other than Arizona’s 30-54.UW’s 49-71 overall record was better than only WSU (47-68) and Arizona (47-67).
All for now.