Moos offers sobering WSU bowl scenario view

BILL MOOS on his weekly radio show said Washington State was in a good position to be in when it comes to bowl scenarios. But he stopped well short of unbridled optimism when it came to the three top tier bowls WSU is expected to make a play for before the selections are made official on Sunday.

Before the Apple Cup loss, Moos said on Monday, he thought Cougs were either a frontrunner or neck-and-neck for the Alamo Bowl. And he said he would continue to have conversations with the Alamo committee. He also said WSU was in “a good position to be in,” with a 6-3 mark in conference play,

Moos said he’s familiar with Holiday committee, termed the San Diego bowl a “wonderful experience” and said he thought the Holiday would “be a great matchup for us” with the Big Ten opponent. That said ...

“If we’re not selected there (then the Foster Farms Bowl) or maybe even the Sun Bowl. I’m pretty sure we won’t drop below that,” said Moos. “Our fans need to know… a bowl can skip one loss and they can take a team that’s record is one loss less in conference play. This is really designed to get away from repeat schools and maybe having a loss of interest.”

Moos was referring to the Alamo, Holiday and Foster Farms who have that flexibility. The Sun and the rest of the Pac-12 tie-in bowls are not allowed to select a team with one fewer conference loss.

But if “the fans need to know,” is that Moos telegraphing that Cougar fans should prepare for the Sun?

One of the takeaways from Moos on Monday's radio show was that the Apple Cup loss could result in the Alamo, Holiday and Foster Farms selecting a combination of Oregon, USC and Utah over Washington State, which would put the Cougs in the Sun Bowl.  

“The Cougars have the third best conference record in the Pac-12 -- we’re only behind Stanford and Oregon, we beat Oregon, and don’t think I won’t be using that.  In the South you’ve got USC and Utah at 6-3 as well. That puts us in a pretty good position. Now (winning Apple Cup would have helped) but we can hold our heads high that we accomplished some fabulous things this year,” said Moos.

Moos said two of the things he’d be selling to bowl committees: the Cougs are “a fun, fun team to watch and certainly Mike Leach as a national personality.”  Moos said he long ago learned Rule No. 1 in talking with bowl committees is to accentuate the positives.

“And we have a lot of those,” said Moos.

Moos also said a later bowl game date would allow the Cougs to potentially get back some of their injured players. Quarterback Luke Falk is of course the most high profile of the group but Moos focused on pointing out left tackle Joe Dahl and Y River Cracraft.

“We’ve been playing without a first or second round draft choice at left tackle,” said Moos.  “That may be the most important position on the field other than your quarterback. An outstanding slot receiver who has started since he was a freshman has not played the last four games or so.

“Hopefully everyone would be back, healed and back, I’m just saying ‘my’ hopefully, I don’t have any idea. But.. if you get a later bowl game… the Alamo is on the Jan. 2 and the Holiday Bowl is played on Dec. 30. That helps when you’re trying to get players back to have a little more time there.”

The Foster Farms and Sun bowls are both held on Dec. 26.

The bowl selection show will be held on Sunday on ESPN.  According to ESPN, the playoff semifinal pairings and site assignments will be annoucned starting at 9:30 a.m. Pacific.  At noon, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee will announce the final top 25 rankings. The pairings for the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl will also be announced.

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