The people have spoken and they like the Huskies’ chances.
The University of Washington Huskies take on the Penn State University Nittany Lions in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona. Both teams fell short of their goal of getting into the College Football Playoff, finishing the season 10-2. But both teams received a pretty good consolation prize by being invited to one of the New Year’s Six bowl games, and with the game pitting a Pac-12 team against a Big Ten team it has something of an old-school Rose Bowl feel.
Anyway, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to predict which team will win the Fiesta Bowl. Here’s how you voted:
POLL: Which team wins Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl? Full context here: https://t.co/8O35NXyrcv
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) December 26, 2017
Add the two together and 75 percent of the responders said Washington will prevail, while 25 percent picked Penn State. Unlike other recent polls, the numbers were dead even between Seattle Sidelines Blog voters and Twitter voters, so this seems to be a solid consensus, at least from people who follow me.
Methinks there may have been a little local bias is this vote. Penn State remains a two-point favorite over Washington, and on paper the Nittany Lions are at least a match for the Huskies — Penn State is ranked higher (No. 9-No. 12), scored more points per game this season (41.6-36.9), allowed almost as few (15.5-14.5), and plays in a conference that’s at least perceived to be stronger (most ranking systems have the Big Ten slightly ahead of the Pac-12 this year). Yet the Huskies were still the overwhelming choice in the poll.
There wasn’t much in the way of news during the week. Washington still doesn’t know whether freshman tight end Hunter Bryant, who was emerging as a major offensive weapon before suffering a leg injury in October against UCLA, will be able to play. And the Vita Vea-led Washington defense still knows it has to find some way of slowing down Penn State’s dynamic offensive duo of running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley.
It should be a good one, or at least better than Thursday’s Pac-12-Big Ten showdown in the Holiday Bowl between Washington State and Michigan State. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday and is being televised on ESPN.