BY Art Thiel 04:07PM 11/28/2016

If Huskies win, Petersen confident about final 4

If his Huskies defeat Colorado for the Pac-12 title Friday in Santa Clara, CA., Washington coach Chris Petersen trusts that his team will be included in the college football playoffs.

Chris Petersen assumes the CFP committee will do the right thing. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Contrary to some skepticism among Huskies fans, coach Chris Petersen trusts that the College Football Playoff committee will do the right thing if CFP No. 5 Washington (11-1, 8-1) beats CFP No. 9 Colorado (10-2, 8-1) Friday to become Pac-12 Conference champion. He thinks UW will be selected for the four-team playoff field.

“I feel pretty good, pretty confident,” he said Monday at his weekly press conference. “I’ve always said that. If we take care of business, everywhere I’ve been, those people usually do the right thing. Our whole focus is on Colorado. We’ve got a big hurdle there, and if we can get over that hurdle, yeah.”

The fret for the Huskies, No. 5 in the CFP poll from last week but expected to advance to No. 4 Tuesday after No. 3 Michigan lost to No. 2 Ohio State, is that even though they are among the four remaining Power Five conference teams with one or no losses, it’s possible that based on a tougher schedule, a two-loss team could be selected ahead of them.

Penn State and Wisconsin, both with two losses, will play for the Big 10 title Saturday. But those teams, along with Ohio State and Michigan, will likely be part of the the CFP’s top seven teams Tuesday, suggesting that a second Big 10 team besides the conference champion could be seen as more deserving of reward than a one-loss team from the weaker Pac-12 whose champ played a particularly weak non-conference slate.

But that is an if-then scenario that awaits resolution on Selection Day Sunday at 9 a.m., when the four-team field is announced. So Petersen is sticking with worrying about the South Division champ Buffaloes, whom the Huskies have not played the past two years.

“This is a unique team that plays tremendous defense and has a unique offense,” he said. “We haven’t seen anything like it this year, with how they run (senior QB Sefo Liufau), how he carries the ball. He’s a good passer but he’s a power runner as well.”

Besides the Buffs this week, Petersen has another worry: Staff predation. With success like the Huskies have had comes interest in hiring away his top assistant coaches now that the regular season is over..

“It’s the worst part of the year for me,” Petersen said. “But my job is to also help guys and their families achieve something they really want, and what their goals are all about.

“It’s also to, hopefully, like our players, make good decisions. I see so many coaches run off to other places — it’s not better in the long run. But when it is better, and that’s really their call, then it’s my job to help them do what they need to do. As long as they’ve done a great job here, and I think what’s going on around here speaks for the job that these coaches are doing, that’s my responsibility to help them. But I hope they don’t go.”






  • 1coolguy

    As to finishing in the top 4, presuming a win over Colorado, I offer that Petersen’s stellar reputation will factor into the voters equation. He is a tremendous representative for the sport and has the bona fides most would die for. My hope is for a very convincing win in SF.

    • art thiel

      The committee’s task is sufficiently difficult that a consideration of coaching personalities is waaay out the window.

      I do agree that the offenses of Michigan and Ohio State are surprisingly mundane.

      • 1coolguy

        Waay? This will be a very, very close vote, IMO, and they will go to any length for a tie breaker. “So, Petersen or Harbaugh, voter? Who do you choose?” CP all the way, baby!
        “Mundane”? Hey Art, so PC and so unlike you. How about “crappy”? It may be a term that is out of bounds for a writer though.

        • art thiel

          Actually, as a writer, I prefer Harbaugh and the word mundane,

          I’m not big on triteness.

  • MrPrimeMinister

    Alas, he forgets, a duck is on the committee.

    • art thiel

      So is an ex-Husky, who is probably more against UW than the Ducks.

      • Army Vet

        To balance that ex-husky (he’s a lower case husky) is the former AD who set up the cupcakes prior to his departure. A vote by him against the Huskies is a damnation of his own job.

        • art thiel

          Scott Woodward isn’t on the committee. But in fairness to him, he did hire Petersen.

          • MrPrimeMinister

            My main point above being, the shenanigans will happen. Not if, but how much and what kind. Impartiality is impossible. I mean we destroyed them with 70 points. In addition, way back in the 1950’s when a team was “voted” into the Rose bowl, we, the UW rep, voted against Oregon. Don’t for a minute think that they have forgotten that.

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