Washington hopes to ride Pac-12 title to playoff berth

Posted December 02, 2016

For those that want to watch Washington and Colorado on Friday night, the game can be seen on TV on FOX.

For USC (9-3), to be selected for the Rose Bowl, it needs Washington (11-1) to make the playoff and to make up three spots between Colorado (10-2). "To me, those were like the older kids, and you always wanted to play with them and look good".

Not in the two-year history of the playoff format have we seen a week like this.

In the latest rankings released Tuesday, USC moved up one spot to No. 11, but still trailed Colorado at No. 8. Avoiding the No. 4 seed - and thus a semifinal matchup against Alabama - is more important this year than usual.

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If the Huskies win and make the playoffs, the Trojans stand a chance of leapfrogging Colorado in the CFP rankings and becoming the Pac-12's replacement team for January 2 in Pasadena. USC, who has been the highest-ranked three-loss team for the last two weeks after being Washington, could potentially be joined by a trio of conference losers.

It's hard to get a good read on the Pac-12 this year. "I think that's what players expect, I think that's what coaches expect, and when it's not like that, you're frustrated as all get-out and trying to figure out why it's not right".

Jackson finished with four interceptions during the regular season, the second most in the Pac-12, along with 11 pass breakups. But the Pac-12 Championship Game against Washington offers perhaps CU's biggest test of the season and will determine whether a New Years Day date at the Rose Bowl is in store. He's set or tied 87 school records and counting.

BIG TIME QBS: Both teams rely heavily on their quarterbacks.

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Washington's nonconference strength of schedule against Rutgers, Idaho and lower-level Portland State ranks 127th among the 128 FBS teams, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Gaskin, who ran for 1,302 yards and 14 TDs as a freshman, followed that up with 1,180 yards and 10 scores despite sharing carries with junior Lavon Coleman (735 yards, six TDs). Colorado won only two Pac-12 games in Liufau's first three years in Boulder.

However the cougar love soon faded away as the Washington University Husky fans took over the cheering in Martin Stadium.

Both thrived defensively, holding opponents to 17.8 points per game in Washington's case, 10th best in the nation; and 18.8 points per for Colorado, 13th in the FBS. That is because the higher-selecting bowl games likely won't get to fill out their matchups until after the Army-Navy game is played a week from Saturday, and because 5-7 teams are the last ones placed in whichever bowl needs them, they can not be invited until the top bowls select first. Unfortunately they just could not stay healthy. the Team that took the field against the Aggies in August does not look remotely the same as the one that played last Saturday.

When Chris Petersen says he feels confident about his football team, winning on the field is only part of the story. "But the grass is good, so it's like people talking about going to Utah and playing in the altitude". I think it is somewhere in between. "Each and every game we try to go in there and create as many turnovers as we can".

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HOMECOMING: The game will be a homecoming of sorts for MacIntyre, who got his first head coaching job in 2010 at nearby San Jose State. Ohio State will roll into the final selections fresh off a win against No. 5 MI while sporting an 11-1 record; for all intents and purposes, the fact that OSU won't compete for the Big Ten championship is a boon to their Playoff hopes. Awuzie has played cornerback, safety and nickel back at times in his career, along with a little bit of outside linebacker. "Eight years seems like a long time but it also goes by very fast".