Utah's impressive showing in 2005 marked the last time the bowl was affiliated with the Mountain West, before switching to the Pac-12. Beginning with UCLA's victory over Florida State in '06, the Pac-12 had gone 5-1, prior to Washington's appearance Friday. The conference claimed wins by Oregon State over Maryland, California over Miami, USC over Boston College and Arizona State over Navy, while UCLA lost to Illinois in 2012.
The league was unable to supply an eligible team in the 2010 season (before the expansion to 12 schools), when Nevada beat Boston College.
Utah quarterback Brett Ratliff and receiver Travis LaTendresse, who caught 16 passes for 214 yards and four touchdowns, remain prominent in the bowl record book.
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall entered Friday's game with a 6-2 bowl record, in position to tie LaVell Edwards' school record for bowl wins. Edwards went 7-15-1 in the postseason, although he generally faced tougher competition. Of his 15 losses, 11 came against teams currently playing in BCS-affiliated leagues.
In the coaching transition from Steve Sarkisian to Chris Petersen, Washington did not have a full staff available Friday. Quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo was in charge for the bowl game, and the Huskies gave more prominent game-day roles to four graduate assistants.
Offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau, a former Utah State assistant, took over the play-calling duties formerly performed by Sarkisian. Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox remained in place for the bowl game; he's soon expected to join Sarkisian at USC.
Defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi whose father, John, was among BYU's first Polynesian players is reportedly the subject of an NCAA investigation into his recruiting practices at Washington, leaving his future in question.