SEATTLE -- A Super Bowl rematch and college games with huge postseason implications on the line highlight a big weekend for football across Washington state.
Let's start with the college side and something big at stake for Washington and Washington State.
The No. 4 Washington Huskies will get extra national attention when they host ESPN's College Gameday show in the pre-dawn hours Saturday. Washington (6-0 in Pac-12, 9-0 overall) has legitimate dreams of playing for a national championship if they keep winning. They will host USC Saturday afternoon. The Trojans started 1-3 but has won five in a row.
Across the state in Pullman, the No. 23 Washington State Cougars (6-0, 7-2) will host the Cal Bears (2-4, 4-5) who the Huskies throttled last week.
The Pac-12 North title is already guaranteed to go to either the Huskies or the Cougars. Everyone else in the division is eliminated. But this weekend will add an extra bit of importance. If both UW and WSU win, it guarantees the Apple Cup on Nov. 25 will determine the division champion. Even if one team were to lose next week and the other wins, the team that's a game behind could win the head-to-head Apple Cup matchup and take the crown.
Then on Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks (5-2-1, first place in NFC West) will head to New England to take on the Patriots (7-1) for the first time since that painful loss in Super Bowl XLIX. The game will air live on KING 5 starting at 5:30 p.m.
The Patriots still have Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Malcolm Butler, and others from the cast of characters that won them the Lombardi Trophy two years ago.
The Seahawks should have strong safety Kam Chancellor back. He's missed some games due to a groin injury, but he was not listed on the final injury report Friday. And he's needed badly. The defense has spent 36 minutes or more on the field in the past three games.
Russell Wilson played his best game of the season Monday in a win over the Bills, but the offensive line and running game remain major concerns.
Another big game to watch is the Eastern Washington Eagles vs. Idaho State. The Eagles are undefeated, one of the top-ranked FCS teams in the country, and trying to keep pace with North Dakota in the Big Sky Conference.
And the state tournament in high school football gets under way Friday.