Washington State Cougars bowl projections just got even better. WSU improved to 6-2 on the season with a win over the Oregon State Beavers late Saturday night (Oct. 29). The 35-31 victory not only moved WSU to 5-0 in conference games but made the team bowl eligible.
Luke Falk passed for 415 yards and five touchdowns, engineering several second-half drives that helped the Cougars overcome an ugly halftime deficit. Senior Gabe Marks kept coming through with big catches, posting eight for 110 yards and two touchdowns on the night. The duo has been putting on a show for the last six games and will look to continue that in the final four regular season games.
With just four (and possibly five) games left on the schedule, the Washington State Cougars have a path that leads straight to the Rose Bowl. If the team can win its final four conference games, WSU will qualify for the Pac-12 Championship Game. Winning that game against the South champion would then put the Cougars in the Rose Bowl against a Big Ten representative. That’s a tough road ahead.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the latest Pac-12 bowl projections have placed some positive light on the conference. Many college football experts have the Washington Huskies playing in the College Football Playoff. For that to happen, though, UW would have to beat WSU in the Apple Cup. Failing to do so would put WSU in the Pac-12 title game and relegate the Huskies to a lower bowl game.
The specific Washington State Cougars bowl projections differ depending on which college football experts are speaking. Among the major sites that have revealed bowl projections (ESPN, CBS, and Sports Illustrated) there is no agreement on which bowl game will send an invite to WSU. The only real agreement is that the Cougars are on a path to play a bowl game in California, though the destination could remain a mystery for a bit longer.
ESPN has WSU vs. Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, Sports Illustrated has WSU vs. Iowa in the Holliday Bowl, and CBS has WSU vs. Indiana in the Foster Farms Bowl. None of the experts can agree on how the season will finish for the Cougars or just how many games the team will win this season. This has led to many different postseason scenarios for the team, ranging from the illustrious Rose Bowl in Pasadena down to the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara.
Last season, the Washington State Cougars received an invite to the Sun Bowl to play the Miami Hurricanes. WSU won the game 20-14, overcoming the snow to finish the season with a 9-4 overall record. Luke Falk passed for 300 yards and two touchdowns, but he would certainly like to play on a bigger stage this postseason as he prepares to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. Star receiver Gabe Marks could use another showcase game as well because he too could get selected on draft day to play his next games for an NFL franchise.
After escaping the Oregon State game with a victory, WSU has only four games left in the regular season. The next one comes at home against the Arizona Wildcats on November 5, with an announced start time of 1 p.m. PT. Most of the recent games have been night affairs for the Cougars, so this should be a welcome change. The Cougars then play the California Bears (Nov. 12), Colorado Buffaloes (Nov. 19), and Washington Huskies (Nov. 25). Only the Colorado game is on the road.
These latest Washington State Cougars bowl projections should give fans a lot of hope about what could happen this postseason, but WSU still has a lot of work to do to possibly make the Pac-12 Championship Game and then get an invite to the Rose Bowl.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]