SPOKANE, Wash. — With new head coach Jake Dickert leading the pack, the Washington State Cougars are on their way to a sixth consecutive bowl game (not counting last year's Covid shortened season).
The Cougars, whose current record heading into the bowl season is 7-5 overall and 6-3 in conference play, are eligible for four of six bowl games. Let’s break down how the bowl games are chosen and where we could see the Cougs end up.
How teams are chosen for the Bowl games
The six bowl games the Pac-12 sends teams to are:
That order is also from most to least coveted, so if a team doesn’t end up in a bowl game, they have a chance with the next one down the list.
With that being said, the process is a bit more complicated, so nothing is guaranteed.
The winner of the Pac-12 championship between Oregon and Utah will head to the Rose Bowl. Whoever loses will most likely head to the Alamo Bowl.
That leaves the Cougars with four more bowls to play for. However, ASU does have a better record than UCLA and WSU, so they will most likely play in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Oregon State is ranked last in the Pac-12 bowl standings, meaning they will most likely end up in the Los Angeles Bowl.
This prediction leaves UCLA and the Cougs for the Holiday and Sun Bowl.
WSU hasn’t played the Sun Bowl since 2015, where they defeated the Miami Hurricanes 20-14. Their last Holiday Bowl appearance was in 2017 where they were manhandled by Michigan State 42-17.
The Holiday Bowl is in San Diego, which is closer to UCLA so there is more local appeal.
CBS and ESPN are predicting the Cougs to go to the Sun Bowl. On the other hand, Sports Illustrated and Action Network are predicting the Los Angeles Bowl for WSU.
The Las Vegas Bowl isn't out of the question for the Cougs either. The event's Twitter page asked fans to vote on which mascot they would like to see at the game. Butch T. Cougar is one of four choices alongside Sparky (Arizona State), Joe Bruin (UCLA) and Benny Beaver (Oregon State) and won handily.
The most likely bet for the Cougs right now is the Sun Bowl. WSU will find out their bowl game fate on Sunday, December 5 some time in the early afternoon.