SEATTLE –Viva, Las Vegas.
Washington will be heading to Sin City for its third consecutive bowl game under Steve Sarkisian when it travels to face 20th-ranked Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl at 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 22.
“It’s a tremendous bowl game, one that’s got a great deal of history in our conference,” Sarkisian said in a press release.
Boise State (10-2 overall, 7-1 league) tied for first in the Mountain West Conference and was picked by the Las Vegas Bowl committee in a game that pits the Mountain West’s best versus a Pac-12 representative.
This will be the third consecutive trip to the Las Vegas Bowl for the Broncos.
Washington playing Boise State brings multiple levels of intrigue.
The Huskies will host the Broncos to open renovated Husky Stadium on Aug. 31, 2013, so no matter what happens in three weeks, the rematch is already slated to take place.
The Huskies will also play at Boise State on Sept. 19, 2015, meaning the teams will play three times in less than three years.
“I think it can become one of those classic rivalries that get set up,” Sarkisian said.
The Broncos have grown from the BCS-busting team of 2007 that stunned blueblood Oklahoma in overtime at the Fiesta Bowl to one of the most consistent winners in the nation. Boise State has won 10 or more games for seven consecutive seasons, a streak that leads country.
By prestige, this is the lowest-ranking bowl Washington has been to with Sarkisian at the helm. In 2010, Washington stunned Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl, 19-7, which takes the Pacific-12 Conference’s No. 3 team. Last season, the Huskies lost a shootout with Baylor and Robert Griffin III, 67-56, at the Alamo Bowl, which selects the Pac-12’s No. 2, ostensibly costing defensive coordinator Nick Holt his job.
Washington will be chasing its elusive eighth win, which would be the most since 2001. Washington squeaked into the Holiday Bowl at 6-6 in 2010. Last season, like this one, the Huskies were 7-5 heading into the bowl game.
Sarkisian said he will keep the same approach to the bowl run-up he has used the previous two years.
“I think we’ve done a lot of really cool stuff,” Sarkisian said. “I thought that we’ve gone into the game really well prepared. When there were opportunities to have our fun, we’ve had our fun. When it’s time to be business and go to work and I think that format has been good to us. We won the first game and like to think we should have won the second game. Hopefully we can win the third game.”
Oregon (in the Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State) and Stanford (in the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl against Wisconsin) were picked for the BCS.
Oregon State is going to the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl to face Texas, UCLA heads to the Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl to take on Baylor and USC is going to the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl to play Georgia Tech as the fourth bowl eligible representative from the Pac-12 not in the BCS.
That left the Las Vegas Bowl to select between Washington, Arizona and Arizona State since it had the next choice of Pac-12 teams.
The Sun Devils ended up in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco. Arizona was jettisoned to the Dec. 15 New Mexico Bowl against Nevada, despite beating Washington this season, 52-17.Todd Dybas firstname.lastname@example.org @Todd_Dybas blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports