As the dust has begun to settle on Washington’s invite to the Alamo Bowl, it’s also starting to look as if there’s a good chance the Huskies could be taking on the Heisman Trophy winner on Dec. 29 in San Antonio.
This year features what is one of the most wide-open Heisman races in years, and the web site HeismanPundit.com reports today that Baylor’s Robert Griffin III could be the front-runner.
If Griffin does win it, the Alamo Bowl would mark just the second time UW has faced a reigning Heisman Trophy winner in a bowl game, the other one that Husky fans barely need reminding of — the 1992 Rose Bowl win over Michigan and Desmond Howard. UW won that game 34-14 to clinch the national title as Howard was held to just one catch for 35 yards. (UW has faced a number of players during seasons in which they won the Heisman — most recently, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma in 2008 and also including all the players from USC who have won the award through the years.)
No doubt, Griffin’s status as a Heisman contender helped the Alamo Bowl pick the Bears ahead of Oklahoma. And if he actually wins the award when it is announced on Saturday — voting ends today — it will add just that much more of a spotlight to the game.
HEAPS TRANSFERRING FROM BYU — Mason Kelley of our staff has reported today that former Skyline QB Jake Heaps is leaving BYU. Kelley says possible destinations for Heaps include Washington, Washington State, USC and Cal. Here’s Kelley’s blog post on Heaps.
David Locke, a former Seattle radio host now working in Salt Lake City, wrote last week he thinks Heaps is headed to Cal.
As just about anyone reading this probably already knows, UW has five scholarships already slotted for quarterbacks in 2012 — Keith Price, who will be a junior and seems locked in as the starter through the 2013 season, barring the obvious caveat of injury; Nick Montana (sophomore), Derrick Brown (redshirt freshman) and Jeff Lindquist and Cyler Miles, who have already committed to sign in 2012. And that doesn’t include walk-on Thomas Vincent, who has impressed coaches with his overall athleticism.
Given all of that, UW seems like an unlikely destination for any transferring quarterback.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Baylor has been installed as a 7.5-point favorite.
— Fresno State fired longtime coach Pat Hill on Sunday night. Hill, recall, was thought at one point one of the leading candidates to take over at UW following the 2008 season. Don’t be surprised to see the name of UW offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier linked with this one, as he was the OC at Fresno State in 2008. Like the rest of UW’s assistants, Nussmeier has a contract taking him through the 2012 season. But just about any assistant would leave for this kind of head coaching job, so his contract situation at UW hardly matters in that regard. By the way, indications are there are no plans right now to extend or change the contracts of any of UW’s coaches since, as noted, they all currently go through the 2012 season as is.
— A preview of the bowl from KING-5 features a couple dire predictions for UW.
— And — shocker!!!! — Jim Moore also doesn’t think UW has much of a chance.
— Baylor has 12,500 tickets for the Alamo Bowl — the regularly contracted allotment to the Big 12 team — and the bowl is hoping desperately the school will sell a lot of them.
— The National Football Post has a detailed scouting report on Griffin.
— Bud Withers gives the Alamo Bowl matchup a B-plus.
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller round.s up where the UCLA and Arizona State coaching searches go now.
— The LA Times says Jim Mora could be a leading candidate for the UCLA job.
— Scout.com is reporting that Baylor coach Art Briles could be a candidate at Arizona State.