Thre Washington State Cougars and Washington Huskies are both looking to salvage their seasons with bowl game victories. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Thre Washington State Cougars and Washington Huskies are both looking to salvage their seasons with bowl game victories. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

POLL: How do UW and WSU fair in their bowl games?

The Huskies face Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl; the Cougars play Air Force in the Cheez-It Bowl.

College football bowl season arrives this week, and the State of Washington has its hands full.

The first bowl games of the season take place Friday, when Charlotte takes on Buffalo in the Bahamas Bowl and Kent State faces Utah State in the Frisco Bowl. In total, 78 FBS teams are taking part in bowls this year — how in the world are there this many teams that are bowl eligible, considering there are only 130 FBS programs in the country? — and two are of particular interest to we here in Washington.

The Washington Huskies play the Boise State Broncos in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. Then the Washington State Cougars face the Air Force Falcons in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 27. They may be less illustrious bowls than these two teams hoped to be playing in this year, but at least with the Huskies going to Las Vegas and the Cougars going to Phoenix they’re both going someplace that isn’t freezing.

This was supposed to be a good season for the state. Washington, with Lake Stevens High School graduate Jacob Eason finally set to be unleashed at quarterback, began the year ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press preseason poll and was picked by the media in a virtual tie with Oregon to win the Pac-12 North. Instead the Huskies finished 4-5 in conference and 7-5 overall, and it was the type of season that prompted coach Chris Petersen to say enough is enough and hand in his clipboard.

Meanwhile, the expectations weren’t quite as high for Washington State, as the Cougars were predicted to finish fourth in the Pac-12 North, but they did received one first-place vote and were ranked No. 23 in the preseason poll. Instead, WSU finished 3-6 in conference and 6-6 overall, and if not for a miracle comeback in the final few minutes against Marysville Pilchuck High School grad Jake Luton and the Oregon State Beavers the Cougars wouldn’t be playing in a bowl at all.

In two of the previous three years the Apple Cup was the game that decided the Pac-12 North champion, winner takes all. I must have gotten spoiled, because I have to say it was odd having an Apple Cup this year in which nothing tangible was at stake for either team.

Anyway, UW and WSU are looking to salvage disappointing seasons with bowl wins, but neither team has an easy task. Washington faces perennial mid-major power Boise State, which is 12-1, the Mountain West Conference champion and ranked No. 18 in the nation. Washington State takes on an Air Force team that, behind a triple-option rushing offense that ranks third in the nation at 292.5 yards per game, went 10-2, finished just behind Boise State in the MWC Mountain Division standings and hasn’t lost since Oct. 5.

Washington, despite playing a ranked foe, is a 3.5-point favorite. Washington State finds itself a 2.5-point underdog.

So how does the State of Washington fare during bowl season this year? Make your picks here:

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Steven's Trayce Hanks makes a catch for a touchdown during the Cougars Championship Passing Tournament at Lakewood High School on Saturday, July 31, 2021 in Arlington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
GALLERY: Lakewood hosts annual 7-on-7 football tournament

Some of the top schools in the region came out for the event, which included the popular lineman challenge.

Hadyn Fluery, a defenseman from the Anaheim Ducks, walks off stage after being introduced as a new player with the Seattle Kraken NHL hockey team, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, during the Kraken's expansion draft event in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Patterson: Can Kraken match success of Golden Knights? Maybe

Seattle’s roster may be as talented as the initial Vegas roster, but lacks additional future assets.

Xander Schauffele, of the United States, holds his gold medal in the men's golf at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Kawagoe, Japan. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
U.S. golfer claims gold, as bronze goes to playoff holes

Bellevue golfer C.T. Pan, who represented Chinese Taipei, won the seven-way playoff.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Marlowe homers twice, AquaSox defeat Emeralds

Everett snaps a brief two-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over Eugene.

Runners pass the Olympic rings as they compete during the first round of the women’s 5,000-meter at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Friday in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Markovc finishes 20th in Olympic women’s 5,000 meters

The Glacier Peak High School graduate placed ninth in her heat and did not advance to Monday’s final.

Jackson's Ryan Contreras is welcomed by teammate Dominic Hellman after Contreras' home run Friday afternoon at Funko Field at Memorial Stadium in Everett on April 23, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Prep notebook: Jackson baseball star picked for All-American game

Also, 2 local high school wrestlers place at the USA Wrestling nationals in Fargo, North Dakota.

Silvertips’ Michal Gut fights Tri-City's Sasha Mutala for the puck during the game against the Tr-City Americans on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Import forward Gut to return to Silvertips for 21-22 season

The 2002-born center was not with the team last season due to virus-related travel restrictions.

Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert celebrates during the second half of a men's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament semifinal game against UCLA, Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Edmonds native Kispert drafted by Wizards at No. 15 overall

Former Gonzaga star Corey Kispert was selected by the Washington Wizards in Thursday’s NBA draft.

File photo
Hoover, Lavey power Sox past Emeralds in series rubber match

Connor Hoover and Justin Lavey both homer and the AquaSox beat Eugene 7-6 in the series finale.

Most Read