The UCLA game was one down and two to go for the Huskies, who have to win at Cal and Washington State to get to a bowl game.
If they get to 6-6, there is no doubt they will get to a bowl game as the Pac-10 has six contractual bowl slots and it is now only possible that six conference teams can get bowl eligible — WSU and ASU are already out due to not having enough FBS wins (ASU beat two FCS teams), USC is ineligible, and whichever team loses the Cal-UW game will also not have enough wins. Also, UCLA and Arizona State play this week, as well, so one of them will get another loss (there has been talk of ASU trying to get a waiver if it could get to 6-6).
First, let’s look at the Pac-10 standings after this weekend’s games (listed by Pac-10 standing)
Oregon 10-0, 7-0
Stanford 10-1, 7-1
Arizona 7-3, 4-3
Oregon State 5-5, 4-3
USC 7-4, 4-4
Washington 4-6, 3-4
Cal 5-6, 3-5
Arizona State 4-6, 2-5
UCLA 4-6, 2-5
Washington State 2-9, 1-7
Now, let’s review the Pac-10 bowl agreements:
1 — Pac-10 champ goes to BCS title game or Rose Bowl.
2 — The No. 2 seed goes to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio Dec. 29 (though Stanford still has a chance to be a second team into the BCS),
3 — The No. 3 seed is slotted for the Holiday Bowl Dec. 30,
4 — No. 4 is slotted to the Sun Bowl Dec. 31,
5 — No. 5 is slotted to the Las Vegas Bowl Dec. 22,
6 — And No. 6 is slottted to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Jan. 9 (yes, that’s not a typo).
So yes indeed, if UW can get to 6-6, it could rise as high as the Holiday Bowl, which would be some reward for a .500 season. I don’t see a scenario where UW could get to the Alamo, tough amazingly enough it’s not a stretch that Arizona and UW could each end up at 4-5 in Pac-10 play. Obviously, Arizona beat UW, would have a better conference record and would almost certainly be picked ahead of the Huskies if the Alamo had its choice, assuming Oregon and Stanford ended up in the BCS (and one thing to remember is that the it is a choice for the bowls — they don’t have to abide by tiebreakers or anything but can select from the pool of eligible teams remaining to them after the bowls above them have selected other than that you can’t skip down to a team that has two fewer conference wins).
If not the Holiday, UW would then likely get the Sun if it gets to 6-6 as it seems really unlikely the Pac-10 will end up with more than five bowl eligible teams — and four is what you’d probably be safest to bet on. Since six Pac-10 teams are unlikely to get bowl eligible, there’s a good chance one or two of the bowls at the bottom of that list will have to look outside the conference, and I already saw some chatter this week about the Vegas Bowl already exploring alternate opportunities.
All of that means that the toughest part for UW of getting to a bowl is winning its next two games.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Cal safety Sean Cattouse essentially guaranteed that the Bears will beat the Huskies Saturday, according to this story from the San Francisco Chronicle. It quotes Cattouse saying that “we are going to win that game and we are going to go to a bowl game.”
— Cal started as a 3-point favorite earlier today but the line is already up to seven. (Though people who live in Vegas are telling me it never really went off as 3 — even though that was an initial listing for at least one book in the link posted. Regardless, line seems to be going up in Cal’s favor a little bit).
— Here’s a wrapup of coverage of Cal’s loss to Stanford Saturday.
— One columnist said the loss represented the low point of Jeff Tedford’s tenure at Cal.
— Jon Wilner has more on the Cal-Stanford game.
— UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel spoke to the media today and said QB Richard Brehaut will be fine and also that he didn’t have a real issue with the hit by Nate Williams.
— The Orange County Register grades the UCLA-UW game, providing an interesting look at how the other side perceived the game.
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller projects Cal will beat UW Saturday and earn a Holiday Bowl berth.
— Miller also gave Mason Foster, Chris Polk and Jesse Callier helmet stickers.
— The Sporting News says Foster could rise as high as the second round of the draft.
— And as would be obvious after a game like UW had Thursday, the Huskies rose a bit in some of the national and conference stats.
All for now.