Cloudy bowl game picture will clear up Sunday for Huskies

Staff writerDecember 8, 2013 

After eight seasons in charge at Boise State, where he had a 92-12 record, Chris Petersen must put together a staff at Washington.


SEATTLE — It might be easy to forget in the aftermath of Chris Petersen’s move from Boise State to Washington, but the Huskies still have another football game to play this season.

By Sunday night, they should know where that game will be played.

After the BCS bowls choose their participants, the remaining 30 bowls will make their selections based on conference tie-ins and standings.

And by almost all accounts and projections, the Huskies will likely head to San Francisco for the Dec. 27 Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park. BYU (8-4) already has accepted an invitation to that game.

There exists a possibility, however unlikely, that the Huskies could be selected by a bowl higher on the pecking order. That will happen only if Oregon (10-2 overall, 7-2 Pac-12 Conference) is selected to play in a BCS game, which would give the Pac-12 two BCS participants. Stanford defeated Arizona State in the Pac-12 championship game on Saturday to clinch a berth in the Rose Bowl.

If Oregon is selected by the BCS, every bowl-eligible Pac-12 team would move up a spot, meaning the Las Vegas Bowl, which picks fifth, could choose the Huskies (8-4, 5-4).

So, too, could the Sun Bowl, which has the fourth pick, if it decides it doesn’t want to invite USC (9-4, 6-3) for a second consecutive season.

But that’s a longshot. More likely, either Oregon — assuming the Ducks aren’t chosen to play in a BCS game — or Arizona State figures to play in the Alamo Bowl (second pick), and the Holiday Bowl (third pick) would likely invite whichever of those teams isn’t invited by the Alamo.

In that likely scenario, UCLA (9-3, 6-3) would almost certainly be invited by the Sun. That would leave USC, Washington, Arizona (7-5, 4-5), Washington State (6-6, 4-5) and Oregon State (6-6, 4-5) available for the Las Vegas, Fight Hunger and New Mexico bowls.

It all hinges on Oregon, and whether a BCS bowl decides to extend the Ducks a coveted at-large invitation. There are only a few at-large spots available, and Alabama (11-1) will most certainly fill one of them. Ohio State (12-1), Oklahoma (10-2) and Clemson (10-2) are also in play.

The BCS selection show can be seen on ESPN at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Petersen will be introduced as UW’s new coach at a noon news conference Monday. Interim head coach Marques Tuiasosopo will coach the Huskies in their bowl.

The Idaho Statesman reported Saturday that Boise State running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Keith Bhonapha will join Petersen’s staff at Washington, and that offensive line coach Chris Strausser will likely go to UW, too, unless he is hired to coach BSU.

christian.caple@ @ChristianCaple

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