Crimson Newswire: Bowl games and broadcasts

WILL WASHINGTON STATE go to a bowl game at 6-6? The pairings for the 32 bowl games won't be solidified until Dec. 3 but according to CBS Sportsline, the Cougs are going bowling. In other news, WSU extended its broadcast agreement with FSN and there's one other thing to keep in mind for next year -- ESPN, to a degree, comes back to the Pac-10 table.

The general consensus since the Apple Cup has been that WSU, bowl eligible with six wins, would be left out in the post-season cold.

CBS Sportsline, however, projected this week and further reiterated this morning that Washington State will indeed play in the postseason.

Their slotting puts the Cougs in San Diego on Dec. 19, playing in the Poinsettia Bowl against Utah. The Utes (7-4) play No. 21 BYU Saturday.

Washington State will tie for sixth place in the Pac-10 if USC beats UCLA and suddenly resurgent Arizona tops ASU. While in that scenario Washington State would hold a better conference record than ASU, and a head-to-head edge over UCLA, the Hawaii Bowl, which matches Pac-10 No. 6 vs. WAC, is expected to select UCLA anyway with both the Bruins and Cougs holding identical 6-6, 4-5 marks.

If the Cougars are not chosen for one of the six bowl slots guaranteed to league teams, they could be selected to one of several other bowl games as an at-large representative. Announcements are not expected until Dec. 3 when all bowl pairings will be solidified. An at-large selection, specifically the Poinsettia Bowl, might be the Cougs' best hope and if CBS Sportsline is correct, Washington State will lace them up one more time in 2006 down in San Diego next month. Mark Schlabach of ESPN projected earlier this week that Washington State will play in the MPC Computers Bowl, which traditionally matches the WAC and ACC.

WSU-FSN extended their broadcast agreement recently, but with two of the three final regular season games not selected for broadcast, and six games of 12 not picked for broadcast in 2006, many Cougar fans were less than thrilled with the lack of broadcast coverage by FSN --- particularly the road games and specifically in the days leading up to the blacked out Arizona game, when the Cougs were 6-3 and ranked No. 25 in the country. Some help may be on the way.

It's mostly escaped notice of late but starting in 2007, a handful of Pac-10 home games will be on ESPN for the first time in over a decade.

ABC, broadcasting Pac-10 games since 1989, will continue to show around 14 Pac-10 games a year through 2011. ESPN will broadcast six Pac-10 games a season on either ESPN or ESPN2 starting next year. The network has not televised Pac-10 home games since the '94 season.

Two of those ESPN games will be on Thursday nights.

Mkristo Bruce is a semifinalist for the Ted Hendricks Award, annually awarded to the top defensive end in the nation, and is one of seven finalists for the Lott Trophy, which equally recognizes athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. Quarterback Alex Brink is one of 11 finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy, which honors the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement. Brink was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic first team, while tight end Jed Collins, kicker Loren Langley, receiver Brandon Gibson and center Kenny Alfred were all named honorable mention.

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