No. 2 Washington and No. 3 Texas are, as expected, in a barn burner through one half of football in the Sugar Bowl semifinal. Tied at 21, the two teams have exchanged touchdowns with the Huskies never pulling further away than seven points. The Longhorns have trailed three times but have proven capable of responding to every Washington touchdown with one of their own. With the Rose Bowl semifinal already producing a classic between No. 1 Michigan and No. 4 Alabama, the Sugar Bowl appears well on its way to unfolding in similar fashion.
The Huskies and Longhorns each boast a proud tradition, including national titles, but neither has ever won a College Football Playoff game. (Texas has never even made the field.) In the final year before the playoff expands to 12 teams, both schools have fielded teams with an aura of destiny that now stand just two victories away from the mountaintop. Texas ended Alabama’s 43-game winning streak in nonconference home games earlier this season, and then marched to its first Big 12 title since 2009 in its final year as a conference member before it joins the SEC in 2024.
Washington reached 13 victories for the first time in program history while winning a bitterly competitive Pac-12 in the final season before the league splinters apart. The Big Ten-bound Huskies have won 20 straight games under second-year coach Kalen DeBoer with star quarterback Michael Penix Jr. leading the way.
Three of the five all-time meetings between these schools have come in bowl games, all of which were decided by seven points or less. Considering what we saw from them this season, it would be no surprise if the Huskies and Longhorns play a classic.
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