2012 Pac-12 Bowl Projections


Kirby Lee-Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Three Pac-12 rivalries were played on Friday, with two them determining bowl positioning, both being won by the underdog. With Washington and Arizona’s losses, the USC Trojans are now guaranteed to finish in fifth place, with tiebreakers over both Washington and Arizona State, while Arizona’s defeat puts them a game back of the Trojans and into eighth place. With all but the top three spots decided, the Pac-12 bowl picture has become nearly crystal clear.

At this point, it would be a stretch if the Pac-12 did not have two teams in the BCS. Even if UCLA were to beat Stanford and lose to Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game, giving both the Bruins and Cardinal three losses, with the slew of SEC teams in the BCS picture and only two able to join the party, Stanford’s chances of  being selected to play in the Fiesta Bowl appears to be high.

For now however, Stanford has to be the odds-on favorite to get to the Rose Bowl, as they’re favored against UCLA on the road and a win would surely carry them into next week’s championship game as favorites at home in Palo Alto against the same Bruins.

Should both Oregon and Stanford lose on Saturday, UCLA would host the the Cardinal for the second time in six days for Pac-12 Championship Game. In the event that happens, even with two losses, Oregon would probably be a lock for the Fiesta Bowl, as they would with one loss. A Notre Dame loss to USC and a Florida loss to Florida State could even mean that a one-loss Oregon team could back into the BCS Championship Game, should they beat Oregon State on Saturday.

As long as the Pac-12 gets two BCS bids, the rest of the Pac-12 bowl schedule is as straightforward as can be. Whoever does not win the Pac-12 Championship Game is likely to head to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl. Oregon State, with a likely loss to Oregon on Saturday, would finish fourth in the Pac-12 and be headed to the Holiday Bowl. That would open the door for USC in the Sun Bowl to take on the fourth place ACC team, which could be North Carolina State.

While Washington and Arizona State finished tied with a 5-4 record in Pac-12 play, the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl gets to select either team, and due to geography, the Sun Devils seem like the logical selection in Vegas for a rematch of last year’s bowl with Boise State. That would mean Washington would head to San Francisco for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl with Navy, and the Arizona Wildcats would slide into the New Mexico Bowl to face Nevada.

Arizona woke up on Friday looking at a Sun Bowl berth in the face, and not they only lost the Territorial Cup, but two weeks of bowl practice, due to the New Mexico Bowl being played 16 days before the Sun Bowl, on December 15.

Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal vs. Nebraska CornhuskersFiesta Bowl: Oregon Ducks vs. Kansas State WildcatsAlamo Bowl: UCLA Bruins vs. Oklahoma State CowboysHoliday Bowl: Oregon State Beavers vs. Texas LonghornsSun Bowl: USC Trojans vs. N.C. State WolfpackLas Vegas Bowl: Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Boise State BroncosKraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Washington Huskies vs. Navy MidshipmenNew Mexico Bowl: Arizona Wildcats vs. Nevada Wolfpack