As disappointing as recent games have been for the Washington Huskies, they are still within reach of a goal that some observers figured they might not be able to achieve this season.
At 4-6 overall, with two remaining games, the Huskies’ bowl prospects are simple: They have to win Saturday at Oregon State and Nov. 27 against Washington State in the Apple Cup to assure bowl eligibility.
This issue is actually a little more complicated than usual.
College football teams are supposed to finish with a record of 6-6 or better to qualify to play in a bowl game. But it appears increasingly likely that there will not be enough teams with such a record to fill the 80 available spots.
ESPN reported Tuesday that nobody is really sure how the bowls would go about selecting five-win teams if they’re needed.
So the Huskies actually might have a small chance of playing in a bowl game even if they don’t finish 6-6.
And while nobody associated with the UW program would necessarily deem a .500 record successful, expectations for this young Huskies team were relatively low before the season started.
A trip to a bowl game would not only grant them several additional practices, but it would be an indication of progress, coach Chris Petersen said.
“ If that happens, it means we’re trending upward,” Petersen said. “We’re playing better football, we’re winning. I think that’s probably the most important thing when I think about a bowl situation. That’s the critical part there.”
The Huskies are also trying to maintain their streak of consecutive bowl appearances, which is in jeopardy of ending at five (2010-14).
It’s currently the third-longest bowl streak in UW history, behind the nine-year streak from 1979-87 and an eight-season stretch from 1995-2002 (though the Huskies went from 1977 through 2003 without a losing record).
Travis Feeney, a fifth-year senior linebacker, said a bowl appearance in his final collegiate season “would mean everything to me.”
“That’s the whole goal,” he said. “The whole goal is to get to a bowl game. The whole goal is definitely, as a senior, get to a bowl game. That’s all the senior class wants. That’s all we want to do, is win one game at a time.”
SATURDAY: UW (4-6, 2-5 Pac-12) at Oregon State (2-8, 0-7), 3 p.m., Pac-12 Network, 1000-AM