The regular season is winding down and Bowl Season is imminent.
No. 23 USC’s bowl picture became a bit more clear following the outcomes of games on Saturday, but where the Trojans will ultimately land remains unsettled.
While it was a slim possibility, up until Saturday night, USC had hopes of potentially reaching the Rose Bowl by way of the Pac-12 title game.
With No. 13 Oregon getting upset by Arizona, Stanford was bound for the conference championship with their easy defeat of Cal.
Had the Trojans won the south, they would have hosted the Pac-12 championship by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinal.
Unfortunately, everything had to go right for the Trojans. Meaning No. 12 Arizona State would need to lose their final two conference games against No. 22 UCLA and the Wildcats, and the Trojans would need to win out.
After blowing a big lead, the Sun Devils were able to hang on and defeat the Bruins, and clinched their spot in the conference championship.
There are nine Pac-12 teams that are bowl eligible, but only seven conference tie-ins.
The bowl game with the clearest picture is the Rose Bowl, who will take the winner of the Cardinal-Sun Devil showdown.
Meanwhile, the Trojans could be headed anywhere from El Paso, Texas, to Las Vegas, Nev. — quite a difference in travel destinations.
Given the public disdain for El Paso from Trojan players last season and men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield’s recent dismissive comments, the Trojans likely aren’t the frontrunners for another Sun Bowl appearance.
However, they are nonetheless a candidate.
With the newfound energy surrounding USC, the Trojans figure to be an attractive selection for bowl executives.