Pac-12 Bowl Projections 12/4: Nine Pac-12 teams make bowl games

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

It will be close, but Washington State and Oregon State get selected.

Rose Bowl - Arizona State vs. Michigan State

I'm going double upset in the Pac-12 and Big Ten Championship Games.

In the Pac-12, the Sun Devils get the game at home against a Stanford team that is prone for playing down to their opponents and have the mental advantage of coming in as the losers of their first matchup.

In the Big Ten, the Buckeyes are due to drop a game and they almost did against a struggling Michigan team last week. The Spartans have the talent to fight with the Buckeyes and the hunger to finish in the championship game after losing it two seasons ago.

Alamo Bowl - Oregon vs. Oklahoma

If Stanford loses, they would be a very attractive option for the Alamo Bowl, but I think the Ducks will be even more attractive with their flash and national appeal. I actually wouldn't be surprised to see the Ducks sneak into a BCS bowl because of it either, but I think they would get edged out by Ohio State, Northern Illinois and Clemson in my scenario.

I wouldn't be surprised to see both Oklahoma State and Baylor get into BCS bowl games, but I think the Bears just miss out and slide to the Cotton Bowl, sliding the Sooners down to San Antonio for a matchup between two teams that played some entertaining games in the mid-2000s.

Holiday Bowl - Stanford vs. Kansas State

This would be a disappointing destination for the Cardinal, but since I'm predicting an upset in the Pac-12 Championship Game, it's where I think they will end up. The Cardinal would be a very, very strong team for the Holiday Bowl, but I think their old school style leaves them vulnerable for upsets and getting passed up by bowl committees.

The Big 12 is pretty soft after Oklahoma State and Baylor other than maybe Oklahoma, but Kansas State finished the season strong and is the would be ecstatic to be in the Holiday Bowl.

Sun Bowl - UCLA vs. Virginia Tech

The Bruins finished the season with a major statement, but there is no way that they pass up any of the three Pac-12 teams ahead of them, so unfortunately for them, they are headed to El Paso.

Could see a bunch of different ACC teams here, but I think the Hokies will be the strongest option available to the Sun Bowl with the Florida State and Clemson getting into BCS bowls and Miami and Duke off the board.

Las Vegas Bowl - USC vs. Fresno State

The Trojans ended the season on a sour note, but will be heading to Vegas with Steve Sarkisian, who actually coached Washington in the bowl game last season. This would be a lower-tier bowl for USC, but still an attractive destination after how dark their season was at one point.

This would also be a disappointment for the Bulldogs, who once seemed destined for a BCS bowl, but I still think they beat Utah State in the Mountain West Championship Game and end up being a strong opponent for the Trojans.

Fight Hunger Bowl - Washington vs. BYU

Washington is swirling with uncertainty right now with Sarkisian leaving, but their eight-win résumé and solid fan base will get them pounced on by the Fight Hunger Bowl.

BYU has already signed onto the game and would be a strong matchup for the Huskies.

New Mexico Bowl - Arizona vs. San Diego State

The Wildcats killed all of their momentum, and potential to climb the bowl ladder, from blowing out Oregon by getting killed by Arizona State so they are now probably stuck in the Pac-12's last automatic bowl slot where they ended up last season.

The Aztecs had the chance to jump up to a better bowl in the Mountain West hierarchy but got blown out by UNLV in their final game and if UNLV hadn't already played Arizona in a snoozer this season, I would say that the Runnin Rebels would get chosen here over the Aztecs.

Heart of Dallas Bowl - Washington State vs. North Texas

The Cougars aren't going to a Pac-12 slotted bowl but would be an attractive candidate for the Heart of Dallas Bowl with their anxious fanbase that would love to travel to a bowl game and the appeal of Mike Leach returning to Texas for a game.

North Texas is a no brainer for the bowl being so local with a Conference USA tie-in, I wouldn't be surprised if they accept an invitation shortly.

AdvoCare V100 Bowl - Oregon State vs. Boston College

I'm not that confident about this, but I think the Beavers will sneak in with an at-large bid here because the ACC is the only other major conference that can supply at-large teams and they have a team already slotted here. I think if it comes down to the Beavers and an at-large team from the MAC or Sun Belt, a bowl will take the Beavers.

The ACC is actually the deepest conference this year in terms of teams that aren't that good, but bowl-eligible and the Eagles are one of them.

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