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Bowl projections 2021: The Cougs are throwing darts at a map! – CougCenter

To say that Saturday’s win over the Arizona State Sun Devils was among the more unexpected ones in recent years for the Washington State Cougars would be doing a disservice to the word “unexpected”. Wazzu was:

  1. Integrating several new coaches on their first full week of game planning
  2. Going to a place they historically have had a difficult time winning
  3. Were 16.5 point underdogs

Don’t bother telling this team that though.

With the win, the Cougs have now collected five on the season and are one away from securing bowl eligibility. Given how this season started (with a loss to the Utah State Aggies and a blowout at the hands of the USC Trojans) and then, yanno, EVERYTHING ELSE, it’s pretty incredible the Cougs are here at the three-quarter mark of the year.

The other piece of good news when it comes to their bowl standing is the Pac-12 is remarkably clogged with very okay teams, opening up a host of possibilities even just at 6-6. The Vegas Bowl, which is slotted as the conference’s third best, could legitimately take the Cougs. I’m not kidding.

WSU also controls their own destiny to make it into the Pac-12 Championship game but we won’t get that far ahead of ourselves … yet.

This is the first year for the new bowl schedule since so many were cancelled last year so here are the new tie-ins.

  1. Rose v. Big Ten
  2. Alamo v. Big 12
  3. Las Vegas v. SEC or Big Ten (Big Ten this year)
  4. Los Angeles v. MW
  5. Holiday v. ACC
  6. Redbox v. Big Ten
  7. Sun v. ACC
  8. Independence v. ACC

And here’s a reminder of how the process of “jumping down” largely still works despite the age of our overview.

ESPN: Vegas Bowl

Getting to see the Wisconsin Badgers or Iowa Hawkeyes in Las Vegas after the season that the Cougs have had would be quite the payoff. I’ve also always wanted to see a Kirk Ferentz team punt from inside the plus 40 and it’s on my birthday so lets make this happen.

CBS: Guaranteed Rate

It’s the old Cheez-It Bowl! This would be a pick up by that bowl since the conference is actually likely to have enough eligible teams to fill out their games (again, everyone is very “meh” this year). Playing the Purdue Boilermakers is aggressively boring though.

College Football News: SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

Another bowl that would grab an eligible team from somewhere and this matchup with the Nevada Wolf Pack would actually have a ton of inquire because there’s a non-ero chance the Cougs have actually hired Nevada’s coach before kickoff!

Athlon Sports: Sun Bowl

You’ll pardon me if “New Years Eve in El Paso playing the Miami Hurricanes again” doesn’t exactly check all my boxes for fun but we get Big Cane Unk Nasty back in our lives so we’ll call it a wash.