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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 3, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Friday morning notes — Alamo Bowl still in heavy wait-and-see mode

As noted in the entry below, some of the stories last night following Arizona’s loss to Arizona State tended to portray that the Alamo Bowl is now Washington’s to lose, that if the Huskies win they will get the invite to San Antonio.
But Rick Hill, a spokesman for the game, said this morning that the bowl is still in a real wait-and-see posture and that Arizona has been far from ruled out.
“They are still a very attractive seven-win team that has a quarterback (Nick Foles) from Austin who has thrown for over 700 yards the last two games,” Hill said. “I think locally, Arizona is still very attractive to us.”
And what needs to be understood in all of this is that one of the biggest factors in bowl game decisions is ticket sales and how well the fan bases of the schools will travel.
The worry about Arizona isn’t that it would now finish a game behind UW in the Pac-10 standings (in the only scenario in which UW can go bowling) but whether Arizona’s four straight losses to end the season has dimmed the enthusiasm of the fan base to attend the game.
The Alamo Bowl will have first pick of all available Pac-10 teams after the BCS (likely to be just Arizona and UW should the Huskies win) and can pick whichever of the two it desires.
Ultimately, the team that can sell the most tickets may win out.
Hill said the Alamo Bowl will not send a representative to the Apple Cup tomorrow but that it will be spending a lot of work investigating Washington today.
“We are definitely going to be very focused on Washington,” he said. “We’ll be making a lot of calls, trying to get a feel for a school that didn’t plan on going bowling a couple of weeks ago, how excited their fan base will be and how that game (the Apple Cup) turns out.”
He also said that “we need to get a feel for how quickly can Arizona fans turn the page.”
He said that depending on the sense they get of how the two schools will travel, a factor will be which teams might do more to excite the local fan base. He noted that the Alamo has had five straight games decided in the final two minutes and will want to assure that the game will again be competitive.
“We’ll have to really ask the local fan base,” he said. “There are lots of questions to be asked the next two days and we won’t make a final decision until Sunday.”
And as noted in the earlier thread, another factor is avoiding rematches of recent bowl games. the Alamo could be in line to get Nebraska, which would not be real atttractive for either UW (which lost to Nebraska earlier this year and plays them next year) or Arizona (which lost to Nebraska last year in the Holiday Bowl).
Interestingly, while there had been a thought that Oklahoma State was headed to the Holiday, the Daily Oklahoman today reported that it could instead be the choice of the Alamo. That would solve a lot of the Alamo’s issues of wanting to avoid rematches.
As for the Holiday Bowl, it mostly just sits back and waits to see what the Alamo Bowl does and then picks whichever team is left.
And obviously, all of this is predicated on UW winning the Apple Cup. If UW loses, the Alamo’s choice is easy.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
Vince Grippi in Spokane has all the links you need on the Cougars and otherwise around the Pac-10.
Jon Wilner picks WSU both straight-up and against the spread.
— CoachSark’s site has UW’s schedule for today, noting a 5 p.m. walk-through at Martin Stadium.
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller lists three keys for upsets in rivalry games.
— Lots else around the conference from Ken Goe.
All for now.

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