Gaskin nears 1,000
Among the storylines heading into this week’s Apple Cup: UW freshman tailback Myles Gaskin is just 17 yards away from reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He has already rushed for more yards this season than any true freshman in UW history, so he would obviously be the first to reach 1,000, too. Only one redshirt freshman has ever cracked 1,000 yards for the Huskies — Chris Polk had 1,113 in 2009.
UW in a bowl?
So the Huskies have to win the Apple Cup on Friday to assure a 6-6 record and bowl eligibility … but with only 71 eligible teams and 80 available bowl spots, it still looks likely that some 5-7 teams will be selected. UW coach Chris Petersen seemed disgusted by that idea, though it’s hard to imagine the Huskies would thumb their noses at a bowl invite if they are indeed one of those 5-7 teams. Shreveport, anyone?
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The latest meaningless College Football Playoff rankings feature two new teams in the top four: one-loss Oklahoma at No. 3 and unbeaten Iowa at No. 4. Ohio State, the previous No. 3, fell to No. 8 after losing to Michigan State, and Notre Dame, the previous No. 4, fell to No. 6 after a three-point win over Boston College. Five Pac-12 teams are in the top 25 — No. 9 Stanford, No. 17 Oregon, No. 20 Washington State, No. 22 UCLA and No. 23 Utah.
Alabama running back Derrick Henry remains the popular frontrunner, though Stanford tailback Christian McCaffrey gave himself a better chance with his big game against California. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is also in the mix. With LSU’s precipitous decline, running back Leonard Fournette will probably be on the outside looking in.
Games of the week
Who said rivalry weekend isn’t what it used to be? There are still some great matchups between old foes: No. 9 Stanford hosts No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 8 Ohio State visits No. 10 Michigan, No. 19 TCU hosts No. 7 Baylor, No. 13 Florida State plays at No. 12 Florida, No. 18 Mississippi faces No. 21 Mississippi State, and No. 3 Oklahoma plays at No. 11 Oklahoma State. Phew. Buckle up.