BRENT STECKER

Chris Petersen ‘pretty confident’ Pac-12 title win will put UW Huskies in College Football Playoff

Nov 28, 2016, 4:16 PM | Updated: Nov 29, 2016, 10:32 am
UW, Huskies...
Washington HC Chris Petersen's Huskies have led the conference in defense 4 out of his 5 seasons. (AP)
(AP)

Washington football coach Chris Petersen hasn’t been one to link his team to championship hopes in the media this season. But on Monday, he made a pretty strong declaration about the Huskies’ title chances.

When asked how confident he is about the 11-1 Dawgs being one of the four teams included in the College Football Playoff if they earn win No. 12 in Friday’s Pac-12 championship game, Petersen proved he indeed has some expectations of the selection committee.

“I feel pretty good. Pretty confident,” he answered. “We take care of business … Everywhere I’ve been, those people usually do the right thing. Our whole focus, like you said, is on Colorado. We’ve got a big hurdle there, and if we can get over that hurdle, yeah.”

Huskies rise to 4th in AP poll after Apple Cup win

The Huskies will find out Sunday if they’ve made the cut, but as Petersen alluded to, they’ll first have to beat the Pac-12 South champion Buffaloes in the conference title game to keep themselves in the conversation.

Oddly enough, while the Huskies will be playing for the Pac-12 championship, they’re most likely not in play for the Rose Bowl, which historically has pitted the best from the Pac-12 against the best from the Big Ten. That’s because if UW beats Colorado, it will probably go into the CFP, and if it doesn’t, the Buffs will take the conference and the Rose Bowl with it as they’re not in the mix for the CFP.

The Huskies, who were fifth in last week’s CFP rankings but should climb when the new rankings come out Tuesday due to No. 3 Michigan’s loss to No. 2 Ohio State, are aware that they’ll be in a hard-fought contest against the ninth-ranked Buffaloes (9-2 overall), something the Huskies haven’t seen too much of this year.

“(Colorado) is a big challenge for us,” Petersen said. “I think this is a unique team that plays tremendous defense and has a unique offense. We haven’t seen anything like it this year with how they run the quarterback (Sefo Liufau), how he carries the ball. He’s a good passer but he’s a power runner as well. We haven’t seen that, so that’ll be different for us.”

The Pac-12 championship game will be at 6 p.m. Friday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Check 710Sports.com throughout the week for more coverage of the game.

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