Five Pac-12 teams have hit the six-win threshold to become bowl-eligible so far this season, coming close to matching last year’s total of seven with several weeks left on the schedule. Three conference teams — Arizona, Arizona State and Washington — are 5-4 and just a win away, making the 2012 season possibly one of the best yet for the league in terms of going bowling.
While there still is plenty of football left to be played, the bowl picture is starting to come into focus. Here’s an overview of where various media outlets are predicting each Pac-12 team winds up and who they might be playing in the postseason.
Oregon (9-0, 6-0 conference)
Sports Illustrated: BCS championship (against Alabama)
ESPN: BCS championship (against Alabama)
CBSSports.com: BCS championship (against Alabama)
CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: BCS championship (against Alabama)
The Ducks moved up one spot in the BCS rankings, ahead of Notre Dame, following their thrilling victory in Los Angeles on Saturday and it’s a national consensus that they’ll eventually move into the No. 2 spot to play for the national title. A strong second half schedule, including upcoming games against ranked Stanford and Oregon State teams, are one reason why many think the Ducks will leapfrog Kansas State for a trip to Miami.
[Related Post: Oregon's high powered offense sets records in win]
Oregon State (7-1, 5-1)
Sports Illustrated: Rose Bowl (against Nebraska)
ESPN: Rose Bowl (against Nebraska)
CBSSports.com: Rose Bowl (against Nebraska)
CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Rose Bowl (against Nebraska)
A magical season in Corvallis could wrap up with the Beavers’ first trip to Pasadena since 1965. With most projecting in-state rival Oregon to triumph in the Civil War and head to the BCS National Championship game, the Rose Bowl would continue the traditional Pac-12/Big Ten matchup by taking North Division runner-up Oregon State. The Beavers have to get by Stanford on Saturday first however.
Stanford (7-2, 5-1)
Sports Illustrated: Hyundai Sun Bowl (against N.C. State)
ESPN: Valero Alamo Bowl (against Texas Tech)
CBSSports.com: Hyundai Sun Bowl (against N.C. State)
CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against Fresno State)
Opinions are split on where the Cardinal wind up in the bowl pecking order in the Pac-12 this season with several big games upcoming. Because they could finish anywhere from the Pac-12 Football Championship Game to third in the division, it’s going to be a big final month for Stanford.
Washington (5-4, 3-3)
Sports Illustrated: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against Boise State)
ESPN: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy)
CBSSports.com: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against Boise State)
CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Boise State)
The Huskies have three games to grab a win and become eligible, and it’s not hard to give them one when they’re playing the bottom three teams in the conference. Washington will likely be caught in the middle group of teams that could wind up in a number of bowls with Pac-12 ties, but a matchup against Boise State would no doubt be entertaining.
UCLA (7-2, 4-2)
Sports Illustrated: Valero Alamo Bowl (against Texas Tech)
ESPN: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (against Oklahoma State)
CBSSports.com: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (against Texas Tech)
CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Valero Alamo Bowl (against Texas)
The Pac-12 South-leading Bruins are headed to their first bowl game under Jim Mora but still have several big games left that will determine the destination. A rubber match against Texas — they split a home-and-home in 2010 and 2011 — could be in the cards.
[Related Video: Johnathan Franklin breaks UCLA career- rushing record]
USC (6-3, 4-3)
Sports Illustrated: Education Holiday Bowl (against West Virginia)
ESPN: Hyundai Sun Bowl (against Virginia Tech)
CBSSports.com: Valero Alamo Bowl (against West Virginia)
CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (against TCU)
Though it is not the national title game many Trojans fans had hoped for at the beginning of the season, a return to a bowl game of any kind is a welcome sight for many. There are a number of different landing spots for the program, and the Pac-12 Football Championship Game and trip to the Rose Bowl still are on the table.
Arizona State (5-4, 3-3)
Sports Illustrated: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Nevada)
ESPN: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against a Mountain West team)
CBSSports.com: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Nevada)
CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy)
The Sun Devils could go bowling in Todd Graham’s first season in Tempe and most pundits are thinking they’ll wind up playing in one of the first bowl games of the year in Albuquerque.
Arizona (5-4, 2-4)
Sports Illustrated: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy)
ESPN: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against a Mountain West team)
CBSSports.com: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy)
CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Hyundai Sun Bowl (against Duke)
Saturday against UCLA notwithstanding, it’s been quite the turnaround for RichRod and the Wildcats this season. It’s still unusual to see Duke in a bowl projection lineup but that’s one possible opponent too.
[Related Post: Week 11 BCS standings]
Utah (4-5, 2-4)
CBSSports.com: New Era Pinstripe Bowl (against TCU)
Only one site has the Utes making the bowl, but it’s certainly still possible they’ll wind up somewhere at the end of the year. It will be an uphill battle over the next few weeks however with plenty of big games to get to the magic 6-6 number.