Why Washington Will End Up In The College Football Playoff

Why Washington Will End Up In The College Football Playoff

Week 10

Why Washington Will End Up In The College Football Playoff

Five Thoughts: 4. Why Washington Will End Up In The College Football Playoff


It’s the forgotten team in the mix, but here’s why – and how – Washington will end up in the College Football Playoff. 



5 Thoughts: Can Washington Get Back To The CFP?

1. Conference Race Breakdowns & What Will Happen
2. Would Unbeaten Wisconsin & Miami Be CFP Sure Things?
3. Could 11-1 Notre Dame Be Left Out Of The CFP?
5. If Baker Mayfield Stumbles, What Happens To The Heisman?
– College Football Playoff Tuesday Night Projection

Contact/Follow @PeteFiutak

Of course Washington won’t be in the College Football Playoff, right?

After all, right now, it’s all about the SEC Championship loser, and Notre Dame, and Clemson, and maybe a two-loss Auburn, and an unbeaten Wisconsin, and …

And I get it.

The fan base is rabid, but it didn’t exactly invade Atlanta for the Peach Bowl vs. Alabama last year, and there wasn’t a massive media contingent anywhere near the level of the invasion covering the Crimson Tide.

There aren’t any national college football household names, the star quarterback – Jake Browning, by the way – is probably the fifth-best in the conference, and to be blunt, you haven’t seem Washington play.

And how could you? The Huskies have either been on something called the Pac-12 Network – PLEASE get on DirecTV already! – or it’s on #Pac12AfterDark, which is just a cutesy way of pointing out that they play when most of America is dead asleep.

But head coach Chris Petersen has put together another terrific team.

It’s now No. 1 in the nation in total defense, it’s got one of the most dynamic punt returners in the history of college football in Dante Pettis, and its pounding offense just doesn’t screw up.

Of course, there was the loss at Arizona State that all but pushed the Dawgs aside in the College Football Playoff chase, but that wasn’t any worse than Clemson losing at Syracuse, or Oklahoma losing at home to Iowa State. It was a bad day when nothing seemed to click.

But the College Football Playoff committee doesn’t care.

Washington was 12th in the first round of the rankings, but that’s just a snapshot – all that matters is where you finish. It’s not just possible that Petersen’s team can rise up in a hurry, but it also might just find its way into the playoff again. And here’s why.

2016 Washington.

Last year’s CFP-bound Pac-12 champion was just okay. It got rolled in the showcase game against USC, but it crushed an as-it-turned-out mediocre Stanford team when everyone was watching, and it was more explosive with speedster receiver John Ross hitting home runs from all over the field.

Penn State was more deserving to get in with a far better resume that included a championship trophy after winning the best league last season. But the Big Ten champ had two losses, Washington had one, and the CFP went with the 12-1 Power Five conference champion over the 11-2 P5 champ.

With all of that in mind, here’s how this is going to shake out this time around. If you don’t believe me that wild things are about to happen, rewind to last Saturday.

– Washington is going to be 12-1. For good and bad, the Pac-12 just isn’t that great – again. The Huskies will beat Stanford on Friday night, roll by Utah, and get past Washington State to get to the Pac-12 Championship.

– The Huskies will beat a hot USC. The Notre Dame loss was a stinger, but the Trojans ripped through Arizona State and rolled through Arizona to get back on track. They won’t have any problems with Colorado or UCLA, and all of a sudden, Sam Darnold and company will be cool again. Everyone will pick the Trojans, but Washington will win.

– The upsets will start to come. Auburn is good enough to beat either Georgia or Alabama at home, and even if that doesn’t happen, there’s probably going to be a two-loss Big 12 champion, Notre Dame will likely falter at some point – possibly at Miami – or a two-loss Miami will win the ACC title, or … something will go haywire, because it always does. There won’t be four other one-loss or unbeaten Power Five conference champions.

– Even if Notre Dame goes 11-1, Washington might still get the nod. The Huskies are in trouble, though, if that happens. The only way they get by this would be to blowout USC close to 49-14. The Irish win over the Trojans will be the measuring stick, but the Huskies will be 12-1 with a conference championship. Granted, that didn’t matter when it came to Ohio State last year, but no ruining my narrative …

– Ohio State or Penn State will win the Big Ten. If the East representative takes down Wisconsin, that’s one team out of Washington’s way.

– The SEC Championship loser might just have two losses. Georgia Tech – on the right day – could shock Georgia if Auburn doesn’t do it. Again, Alabama could get knocked off at Auburn if things don’t go right.

Make no mistake about it, it’s not going to be easy. Even if Washington does everything right, it won’t be guaranteed of a College Football Playoff spot. But so far in the CFP era, no 12-1 Power Five conference champion has missed out on the playoff.

Go 12-1 Washington, and you’ll almost certainly be part of that stat, too.

1. Conference Race Breakdowns & What Will Happen
2. Would 13-0 Wisconsin & Miami Be CFP Sure Things?
3. Could 11-1 Notre Dame Be Left Out Of The CFP?
5. If Baker Mayfield Stumbles, What Happens To The Heisman?
– College Football Playoff Tuesday Night Projection

More College Football News
Home