Which bowl game is WSU headed to? That hinges on the Pac-12 title game and playoff selection field

The Cougars will likely end up in the Foster Farms Bowl. But there’s still a tiny chance they could earn a repeat trip to San Diego

On the eve of the Pac-12 championship game that Washington State so badly wanted to play in, the most likely bowl for WSU will also be played at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, where USC and Stanford will duel for the league title Friday night.

With a 9-3 overall record, a 6-3 Pac-12 finish and a No. 18 College Football Playoff ranking, WSU’s likely destination this bowl season is the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara on Dec. 27.

After the College Football Playoff field is announced this Sunday, the Foster Farms Bowl has the third pick of all Pac-12 teams behind the Alamo Bowl and the Holiday Bowl.

Unless total chaos reigns this weekend as conference championship games play out, the Pac-12 is almost guaranteed to miss out on a College Football Playoff berth. USC, at No. 10, is the Pac-12’s highest-ranked team. Even if the Trojans beat Stanford, they’re unlikely to vault into the top four, which means they will probably be the Pac-12’s lone representative in a New Year’s Six Bowl, with the Fiesta Bowl being USC’s likely destination.

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If so, the Alamo Bowl would probably take Stanford, the Pac-12 runner-up, and the Holiday Bowl would be excited to select the 13th-ranked Huskies (10-2), who haven’t played in that bowl since 2010.

If things play out that way, the No. 18 Cougars would be a virtual lock for the Foster Farms Bowl.

“From a team standpoint, we’re looking very seriously and closely at Washington State,” Foster Farms Bowl Executive Director Ryan Oppelt said. “We haven’t had them in our game. They have Luke Falk, one of the premier quarterbacks in the country, and the program, the success they have, the brand of football they play, would resonate well. And they travel really well and are a ranked team. They’re a team of high interest for us.”

The Foster Farms Bowl would pit WSU against a Big Ten team, but the bowl has the sixth pick of all Big Ten bowl-eligible teams, though Oppelt said, “there’s more collaboration around bowls and teams” in that conference.

“We’re looking at having one of the final slots,” Oppelt said. “It could be a team like Purdue, which has won the last two games of the year and hasn’t been in a bowl game in five years, with a new coach and a lot of excitement…

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