We’ve entered college football’s Silly Season.
From coaching rumors to bowl rumors, the what-ifs and maybes become accelerated once the regular season ends.
It’s no different for Washington.
Coach Steve Sarkisian was recently, and anonymously, linked to the coaching opening at Arkansas. He said on KJR 950-AM that he’s never been contacted by the school.
Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox’s name also entered the swirl of offseason conjecture when Jeff Tedford was let go at Cal.
“You can’t ignore it, it’s so much in your face,” Sarkisian said. “The reality of it is, it’s really rumors until something is solidified. Sometimes it feels a bit like the high school girls’ bathroom.
“I follow it relatively, you want to know who your opponents might be and who head coaches might be in your conference, who might be leaving. Until it’s solidified, you really don’t know.”
Same goes for the bowl game. Washington’s loss in the Apple Cup leaves it with three likely destinations:
Leading the pack is a trip to Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Bowl will be played Dec. 22 at Sam Boyd Stadium, about seven miles from UNLV’s campus. It matches the Mountain West Conference’s top team against the Pacific-12 Conference’s No. 5 team.
If UW plays in that bowl, it will face No. 25 Boise State (10-2). The Broncos will be the opponent for the Huskies’ 2013 opener at renovated Husky Stadium.
The second scenario would be the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 29 in San Francisco at AT&T Park against Navy. That slot goes to the Pac-12’s sixth team.
A final option is the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15 in Albuquerque at University Stadium on the campus of the University of New Mexico. Nevada (7-5) of the Mountain West Conference has already accepted an invitation to this bowl. The Wolf Pack lost to Boise State on Saturday, 27-21.
With the dates so spread out, Sarkisian already has mock-up plans for each. He said he just wants to play “in the best bowl possible,” which would mean a trip to Las Vegas.
Essentially, Las Vegas Bowl officials will choose between UW (7-5) and Arizona (7-5), which waxed Washington, 52-17, in Tucson, but also finished under .500 (4-5) in conference play (the Huskies were 5-4).
Washington is using its three weekend practices to get the younger players work prior to learning its bowl destination. … The Huskies will practice again today and Monday morning, then will set up their schedule based on their bowl. … Sarkisian said the first practice since losing the Apple Cup was crisp. He said he told the team prior to practice that only it and top-ranked Notre Dame beat Pac-12 champion Stanford this season. His message: The Huskies have the talent, but not the consistency.todd.dybas@ thenewstribune.com