It’s pretty simple for Washington this weekend when it comes to its possible bowl destination.
Win, and go to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl.
If, indeed, the Huskies topple Washington State on Saturday in the Apple Cup in Pullman, there is a 95 percent chance they will be handed an invitation to the Holiday Bowl – a game they’ve played in before in 1996 (33-21 loss to Colorado), 1999 (24-20 loss to Kansas State) and 2001 (47-43 loss to Texas).
“If they win, I just don’t see any scenario where they wouldn’t be coming here,” said Eric Graves, president of the Holiday Bowl.
Here are some other scenarios, however:
Oregon has clinched a BCS bowl bid from the Pacific-10 Conference. If Stanford should somehow fall out as the No. 2 team from the conference going to a BCS bowl – that doesn’t seem likely on the Cardinal bye week – the UW could fall to the Sun Bowl.
Something more likely is what would happen if Arizona State upset Arizona, the Huskies could end up in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. Still don’t think that will happen.
And what if Oregon State stuns No. 1 Oregon to finish 6-6. Obviously the Holiday Bowl would have a choice. But considering the Huskies haven’t been to the postseason since 2002, and travel well (long-starving, money-paying diehard UW fans do figure prominently into the selection equation) regardless, it would be a huge surprise if the Beavers were taken over them.
Graves will be in Pullman on Saturday, and plans to meet with UW athletic officials and coach Steve Sarkisian.
“My hope is to shake hands with Coach Sarkisian at the end of the game,” Graves said, “and welcome them to the Holiday Bowl.”