With Oregon already bowl eligible and the BCS rankings starting to debut soon, we decided it is time to start rolling out our weekly Pac-12 bowl projections.
BCS Championship Game - Alabama vs Oregon
Is this finally the year where the matchup everyone wants to happen actually takes place? It sure looks like it right now, but the one thing I would watch for is one of these teams slipping up and sadly getting replaced by a team like Ohio State or Louisville who goes undefeated against a soft schedule. For now though, these clearly look like college football's two superior teams.
Rose Bowl - Stanford vs Ohio State
After Stanford's upset loss to Utah, I'm worried that this will be the year that the Pac-12 doesn't get two teams into the BCS for the first time in a long time, but with the Big 12 and Big Ten really struggling to produce BCS worthy teams, I think Stanford or UCLA will get in. I'll give the edge to Stanford right now because I think they beat the Bruins Saturday and because I think the Bruins will end up with an additional loss that will hurt their stock in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Alamo Bowl - UCLA vs Texas
The Bruins could benefit greatly from a Stanford slide from dominance, but I'm not completely sold yet that they can step up. If they can't and end up losing twice to Oregon as they almost assuredly will, the Bruins will be just outside of the BCS, but a very attractive team for a top-tier non-BCS bowl like the Alamo Bowl. Like Oregon State did last year though, they will have to play an improving Texas team in the Lone Star State.
Holiday Bowl - Oregon State vs Texas Tech
The Beavers are looking better and better each week and if Stanford and Washington aren't careful, Mike Riley's squad could lead frog them in the North to be the team that finishes behind Oregon. I don't think they will be quite able to leapfrog Stanford yet, but they will probably win every game that they are favored in remaining on their schedule (Every game not against Oregon/Stanford) and will get the jump on the Huskies.
Sun Bowl - Washington vs Maryland
This might be a bit of a disappointment for the Huskies in their fifth year under Steve Sarkisian with a senior, three-year starting quarterback, but with the strength of the conference up top and their schedule, I think it is where they will end up. The bad news for them is that they will have to go to El Paso, but the good news is that a Maryland team, ripe for the blowing out, will be waiting for them.
Las Vegas Bowl - Utah vs Fresno State
Getting here will be a major statement and step forward for Utah after a little bit of floundering last season. The Utes are going to have to take care of business and beat at least one of the Arizona schools to get here, which I think they will do. Fresno State could easily run the table and end up in the BCS, but I think they will drop one Mountain West game along the way, especially since they will likely have to beat Boise State again.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl - Arizona State vs BYU
I'm not sure that the Sun Devils will be very excited to be in this bowl for the second year in-a-row, but them falling this far in the bowl lineup would be a testament to just how strong the conference has become, especially in the upper-middle and middle. The Sun Devils would get a very interesting matchup against a BYU team that also seems pretty good to be in such a low-level bowl.
New Mexico Bowl - USC vs San Diego State
The Trojans will crawl to a bowl game after a tough season and for the second-straight year will be heading to one of the less-entertaining destinations of the bowl season. They will get a San Diego State team that started slow, but is started to look better week after week.