Looking Ahead: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Possible Opponents

As you are probably aware by now, Navy accepted their invitation to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco after notching their 6th win last weekend. The Kraft Bowl has a tie-in with the PAC-12 for the opponent and sits at 6th in the pecking order behind the Rose Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Sun Bowl, and Las Vegas Bowl (in that order). There are plenty of bowl projections out there, but right now the middle of the PAC-12 is a crap shoot. I figure there are 4 teams that we could possibly see – Washington, Arizona State, Arizona, and Utah. I think that Oregon (9-0, 6-0), Oregon State (7-1, 5-1), Stanford (7-2, 5-1), and UCLA (7-2, 4-2) are pretty solid locks for bowls above the Kraft Bowl. We’ll keep our eye on UCLA – they finish @ Washington St, vs. Stanford, vs. USC – so it’s possible they drop a couple to end the season and perhaps come into play.

But for now, click through for the schools we want to keep our eye on, their schedules for the rest of the year, and a quick note on each. One thing that surprised me while writing this – how much Sagarin likes the Arizona schools.

Washington (5-4, 3-3), Sagarin #46
Nov 10: vs. Utah
Nov 17: @ Colorado
Nov 23: @ Washington State
Probably the weakest remaining schedule of the four teams with remaining opponents that are a combined 8-20 on the year. Colorado pretty much guarantees a 6th win, but Utah will be fighting for bowl eligibility and the Apple Cup can always add some rivalry craziness at the end of the season.

Arizona State (5-4, 3-3), Sagarin #18
Nov 10: @ #19 USC
Nov 17: vs. Washington State
Nov 23: @ Arizona
Another team with 2 road trips in their final 3 games. Though ASU currently has one more conference win than Arizona, their season-ending rivalry game could be tantamount play-in game to a better bowl position. One thing to note here: Arizona State went to the Las Vegas Bowl last year (where they lost to Boise State 56-24), so it’s possible they finish at the top of these 4 teams, but get passed over by the Las Vegas Bowl to avoid a repeat visit.

Arizona (5-4, 2-4), Sagarin #28
Nov 10: vs. Colorado
Nov 17: @ Utah
Nov 23: vs. Arizona State
Arizona should be the first of the teams to lock up bowl eligibility as they host a terrible Colorado team this weekend. But man, UCLA ripped them last weekend 66-10, so who knows how they’ll respond over the home stretch.

Utah (4-5, 2-4) Sagarin #31
Nov 10: @ Washington
Nov 17: vs. Arizona
Nov 23: @ Colorado
The long shot candidate of the bunch, the Utes need two wins in their final three games to become bowl eligible. Utah doesn’t have a bad loss on their record, so games against Washington and Arizona could be winnable. In fact, Vegas consensus has Utah as a 1-point favorite at Washington this weekend.

So there you have it. If I had to guess, I’d go with Arizona State.

Who do you want to see?

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7 Responses

  1. I voted Washington since there’s a little bit of history there that makes it fun for me, but it’d be hard to complain about any of them. Maybe Utah since we already played them in the Poinsettia Bowl, but a rematch wouldn’t be THAT bad. For us, anyway.

    Usually I just want to get the best team we can get in a bowl game. I would’ve thought that was Arizona until last week. Now, I don’t know.

  2. Going with the Cats since I grew up in Tucson and went to grad school at AZ…

    Would still be bleeding blue and gold though!

  3. Would be happy with any, actually. Since we have played Utah and Wash, maybe an AZ team would be interesting.

    One thing to consider, is that it isn’t the team’s record that determines which bowl the teams play in. It’s like choosing up sides at the playground, the number 5 bowl could choose any of the remaining teams available based on factors such as team reputation, how well the fan base travels, potential matchup appeal, etc. It’s not always about won-loss records.

    • We know, but I don’t think any of the teams ahead of these four will slip like Mizzou did to the Texas Bowl.

  4. I went with Washington for the same reason as Mike, the history is there. Washington fans still claim the field goal in 1960 (their only loss that year) was wide and aren’t happy about the tie in the 1924 Rose Bowl

  5. I went Washington as well. Either of the Arizona teams will be vey tough as well. I like the hx aspect as well.

  6. Washington with Utah as first runner up. I would love to see a victory over Utah to make up for a couple of years ago.

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