We know when the Huskies will most likely play their bowl game. We’ll have to wait another week to find out where they’ll be playing.
Depending on the fallout from the Pac-12 championship game, a team source says the Huskies will either play in the Cactus Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 2 or the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, also on Jan. 2.
The Huskies, at 4-5 in the Pac-12 (8-5 overall), finished with the eighth-best record in the Pac-12. UW would play in the Cactus Bowl if both Oregon and Arizona finish in the College Football Playoff’s top 12, meaning both the Ducks and Wildcats would get a bid to one of the Big Six bowls (Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach).
If Arizona loses to Oregon in the Pac-12 title game on Friday, the Wildcats would be 10-3 overall. Would the CFP committee have a three-loss team in its top 12? That’s the question that will cause a ripple effect for the rest of the Pac-12.
As Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News reports, the Sun, Las Vegas and Cactus bowls are now required to select Pac-12 teams in the order of their finish. That means the Las Vegas Bowl, for example, can’t skip over Utah to pick the Huskies, even though the UW men’s basketball team plays in Vegas (against Oklahoma) the same day as the Vegas bowl game. So it will be either the Pac-12’s No. 7 bowl (Cactus) or the at-large bid to the Armed Forces.
Here’s my best projection for the Pac-12’s eight bowl-eligible teams if both Oregon and Arizona are in the CFP top 12:
- Rose (College Football Playoff): Oregon
- Fiesta: Arizona
- Alamo: UCLA
- Holiday: USC
- Foster Farms: Arizona State
- Sun: Stanford
- Las Vegas: Utah
- Cactus: Washington
If Arizona falls out of the top 12, the Wildcats would likely fall down a spot to the Alamo, with the ripple effect then pushing the Huskies to the Armed Forces Bowl.
We won’t know for sure until a week from today, on Dec. 7, when the CFP committee is scheduled to announce its top 12.