SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 02: Head coach Chris Petersen of the Washington Huskies is awarded the Pac-12 Championship game trophy after they beat the Colorado Buffaloes at Levi’s Stadium on December 2, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Washington Huskies destroyed Colorado 41-10, proving that they belong in the College Football Playoff.

That’s not to say that UW was perfect. It wasn’t. Washington’s usually steady passing game completed just 9 of 24 passes for 124 yards. The Huskies also turned the ball over on downs on their second possession, taking a sack on fourth-and-eight from the Colorado 36. This gave the Buffaloes the ball near the midfield stripe, setting up their only touchdown of the evening.

Other than those minor issues, this was a dominant performance by Washington. The Husky ground game turned in one of its best showings of the year, rushing for 256 yards against a Buffalo defense that was only allowing 3.91 yards per carry coming into Friday night’s action. Washington’s defense was even more impressive, limiting Colorado’s normally potent offense to a season-low 163 yards. The Buffaloes’ passing game had no answers for the Husky secondary, which recorded three interceptions, including a Taylor Rapp pick six that gave UW a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter.

With the victory, Washington left no doubt that it belongs in the College Football Playoff. Sure, the Huskies’ resume isn’t necessarily as impressive as Alabama or Ohio State in terms of the number of victories that it has against top 25 and top 40 opponents. But, Washington made the most of its opportunities against ranked foes, posting three wins versus teams in the current College Football Playoff rankings, including victories against Utah and Colorado away from home. Considering that Washington handed the Buffaloes their worst loss of the season on Friday night, it’s tough to see any scenario where No. 5 Michigan overtakes them in the final CFP standings.

Let’s be honest: the Huskies are one of the four best teams in the nation. As Friday night’s Pac-12 championship game reminded us, when Washington is playing really well, it’s capable of beating anybody.

About Terry P. Johnson

Terry Johnson is the Associate Editor for The Student Section. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation.