Petersen doesn't want to talk bowls ahead of Apple Cup
SEATTLE (AP) Chris Petersen clearly doesn't want to look past Friday's Apple Cup.
The question of whether Washington (5-6, 3-5 Pac-12) would accept a bowl bid with a losing record wasn't even completed Monday before Petersen jumped in.
''Don't ask me the question because I don't even know,'' he said. ''We're playing this game and let us play this game.''
No matter the outcome of Friday's game against No. 20 Washington State (8-3, 6-2), the Huskies may have the chance to play in the postseason - even with a 5-7 record. The NCAA football oversight committee was meeting Monday to provide guidelines for matching bowls with sub.-500 teams if there are not enough bowl-eligible squads to fill the record 80 postseason spots available this year.
Seventy-one teams are already bowl-eligible and another 19 could get there over the final two weeks of the regular season.
Petersen didn't want to take any of those scenarios into account, other than acknowledging that he believes there are too many bowl games.
The Huskies have gone to five straight bowl games and only once in school history has Washington gone to a bowl game with a .500 record. That was in 2010 when Washington ended an eight-year postseason drought by beating Washington State in the Apple Cup to get to 6-6, and then beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl.
''I think there are too many bowls. I'll say that if we're talking about that. It just is what it is,'' Petersen said. ''I will say this, everybody likes to play football and so to get a chance to play another game and all those things that's one issue. But again, a long time ago when Washington was playing in Rose Bowls it was like the Rose Bowl or nothing way back when and that's how I grew up as well. The bowls keep coming, the bowls keep coming and in some ways the records aren't as important as they used to be when they come to that type of stuff.''
Petersen even downplayed the idea of getting extra practices should Washington end up in a bowl game. He said the real benefit is getting that extra game to play.
''That's what's different and that's what the kids like to do and that's what we all want to do and that's what the fans like to see,'' Petersen said.
Of course, the Huskies can avoid all that talk about a sub-.500 postseason if they can knock off Washington State for the second straight year and get to 6-6.
Washington put itself in position for a sixth win thanks to last Saturday's 52-7 rout of Oregon State, the second time in a month the Huskies beat a conference opponent by more than 40 points. Washington beat Arizona at home 49-3 on Oct. 31.
Freshman quarterback Jake Browning hit on 18 of 20 passes and threw for four touchdowns, finishing with a passer rating of 244.6. That was the 10th-best performance by passer rating of any quarterback in the country this season.
''We're pleased really with our kids' mindset coming into that game,'' Petersen said. ''We talked about starting fast, we talked about coming out with great energy and trying to set a tone and I think in all phases we did.''