The Huskies will spend New Year's Day in warmer climes.
Washington accepted an invite to play in the Cactus Bowl on Jan. 2 in Tempe, Arizona (7:15 p.m. PT, ESPN), where the Huskies (8-5) will face Big 12 Conference opponent Oklahoma State (6-6).
The Cactus has the seventh and final selection among bowls that guarantee bids to eligible Pac-12 teams. Had Arizona not finished high enough to earn a Fiesta Bowl invite, the Huskies would have been pushed out of the Pac-12 bowl picture and into an at-large situation.
But Oregon finished No. 2 in the CFP rankings to earn a spot in the national semifinals against Florida State, and Arizona, despite losing 51-13 to the Ducks in the Pac-12 championship game, finished with a high enough ranking (10th) to wind up in the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State.
The Cactus Bowl is the most recent evolution of what was originally the Copper Bowl (1989-96), then the Insight.com bowl (1997-2001), then simply the Insight Bowl (2002-11), then the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (2012-13). TicketCity is the official sponsor of the Cactus Bowl, which is operated by the Fiesta Bowl.
This will be UW's fifth consecutive bowl appearance after missing the postseason from 2003-09. The Huskies are 2-2 in their last four bowl games.
Oklahoma State snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Oklahoma in overtime, 38-35, on Saturday. The Cowboys played a pretty tough schedule that included losses to No. 3 Florida State, No. 5 Baylor No. 6 TCU, No. 11 Kansas State, West Virginia and Texas. They beat Missouri State, Texas-San Antonio, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Christian Caple can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple