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Pac-12 bowl projections 11/9: Stanford to the Alamo Bowl? Cal to the Cactus?

A breakdown of how the Pac-12 bowl slots might play out.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Stanford Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Fiesta Bowl - Washington vs. Clemson

I’m sticking with the Huskies winning out. They have the best combination of coaching, balance, talent, experience and leadership in the Pac-12, so I can’t fairly pick them to lose to USC, Washington State or in a hypothetical Pac-12 Championship Game just because the odds say they should. If they win out, I think they draw the ⅔ Playoff and get to avoid Alabama and instead get an undefeated Clemson team that should be undefeated as well.

Rose Bowl - Utah vs. Michigan

I could see Colorado, USC, Utah or Washington State here, but I think the schedule favors the Utes to finish with the best résumé after Washington.

Alamo Bowl - Stanford vs. Oklahoma State

This might seem crazy, but the Cardinal are going to finish 9-3 and with Christian McCaffrey are still a slight national draw that I think might get drawn over schools that might be slightly more-deserving like Colorado.

Holiday Bowl - Colorado vs. Minnesota

The Buffs close tough at home, but I think they finish with just three losses and earn a ticket down to southern California for one of the most-fun bowl games in the Pac-12.

Foster Farms Bowl - USC vs. Iowa

Like Stanford, the Trojans are going to finish the season hot and be a really nice bowl candidate. An in-state bowl which hasn’t taken them before should jump on the Trojans and bring them up north.

Sun Bowl - Washington State vs. Pittsburgh

I don’t know what the deal with taking teams in back-to-back years in non-elite bowls, but the Sun Bowl couldn’t pass on the Cougars for a 6-6 Arizona State team. This would be a disappointment with how far the Cougars got this season, but that Eastern Washington loss is a big part of why they will fall down the chain.

Las Vegas Bowl - Arizona State vs. San Diego State

The Sun Devils should be able to win the Territorial Cup and crawl to bowl eligibility. This will be a great bowl for a time that struggled this year as much as they did.

Cactus Bowl - Cal vs. Idaho

We are going to have to send 5-7 teams to bowl games. I think the Cactus Bowl would want a team out west with five wins and the Bears would fit the bill to get the chance to blast Idaho in a bowl and get to six wins.