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Pac-12 Bowl Projections: November 23

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An Arizona State win on Saturday could clinch a spot in the Cactus Bowl. A loss, however, would make things interesting.

Could The Sun Devils Be Headed To Chase Field For A Bowl Game?
Could The Sun Devils Be Headed To Chase Field For A Bowl Game?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As the month of November winds to a close, we take a look at where each Pac-12 team might be headed for bowl season.

Rose Bowl - Stanford

The Cardinal have already secured a bid to the Pac-12 Championship, and they will be favored no matter who the opponent is. Win that and it is off to the Rose Bowl, with a possible matchup against Michigan and former coach Jim Harbaugh on deck.

Alamo Bowl - Washington State

The Alamo can select Washington State as long as it matches whatever Oregon does next week. The Cougars would be a very attractive pick for that committee, as Mike Leach's return to the state of Texas would surely result in a sellout of the Alamodome.

The Alamo has had a representative at four straight WSU games, so I think this is a solid pick.

Holiday Bowl - Oregon

The Ducks are one of the hottest teams in the country right now, and they should fall no lower than the Holiday. The loser of the conference title game (whether it be USC or UCLA) will also be considered, but Oregon is a big enough draw to get the nod over a local team.

Foster Farms Bowl - USC

Whoever wins the Trojan/Bruin game will have to be selected here (assuming that winner doesn't go on to make the Rose), and the Foster Farms will be ecstatic with either.

Sun Bowl - Utah

I think USC wins that rivalry game, meaning Utah will finish second in the South if it beats Colorado. UCLA might be a more attractive draw for the Sun Bowl committee, but the bowls are required at this point to take the highest remaining team still on the board.

Las Vegas Bowl - UCLA

That leaves Vegas for the Bruins. Not a terrible consolation prize, but they deserve better competition than a Mountain West team. Get better bowl games, Pac-12.

Cactus Bowl - Winner of Arizona State/California

Here is where things get interesting. The Cactus will be required to take Arizona State if it wins in Berkeley on Saturday; that much is known. But a California victory would mean both teams finish fourth in their respective divisions, and with identical records.

That would leave the decision up to the Cactus committee. They could very well go the assured-ticket sale route and pick the Sun Devils, but I wouldn't be surprised if they opted for the hotel and tourist dollars that the Golden Bears would bring in.

Other Options - Arizona, Washington, and Loser of ASU/Cal

The team that is not selected by the Cactus, in addition to Arizona (and Washington if it beats WSU, or gets in as one of the few 5-7 teams) will go to any one of these eight bowls:

  • Armed Forces (Fort Worth)
  • Heart of Dallas (Dallas)
  • Independence (Shreveport)
  • Poinsettia (San Diego)
  • Cure (Orlando)
  • New Mexico (Albuquerque)
  • Hawaii (Honolulu)
  • Arizona (Tucson)
Those first six games will almost certainly need teams to fill another conference's open spot. The Hawaii will have an opening if Tulsa loses at Tulane on Friday, and the same goes for the Arizona if Old Dominion falls against Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

Any of these are possible for Arizona State, California, Arizona, and Washington. The Independence had an official on site for the Territorial Cup, and since the Wildcats played there two years ago, I think it is safe to say they would be more interested in the Sun Devils this time around.

We could have another Cactus Bowl-like situation with Arizona and the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl. Would they want the Wildcats? Would the Wildcats want them?

The Golden Bears seem like an attractive option for the Poinsettia, while the Huskies could be sent anywhere. These spots are the toughest to predict since there are no guidelines for order of selection, but one thing is for sure: With 41 postseason games, there will be a home for everyone.