Thursday, October 12, 2017

USC could join Washington and Washington St. in the becoming bowl eligible this weekend.

The Pac-12 is the only conference besides the SEC to have two teams that have made it to bowl eligibility in the 2017 season. Washington and Washington State are both currently 6-0 as they head towards the season-ending Apple Bowl rivalry. Eight other Pac-12 schools are in the running to become bowl eligible. USC the only team that could earn a sixth win for bowl eligibility in Week 7.

Six or more wins (bowl eligible)

Pac-12 North

Washington (6-0, 3-0 conference)

Washington is bowl eligible, and there is a good chance the Huskies make it to the College Football Playoff semifinals (even if Jerry Palm didn't think so this week). Getting there will be the hard part. The struggling Arizona State will host Washington on Oct. 14. The Huskies have a bye in Week 9, then host UCLA on Oct. 28. A resurgent Oregon team comes to Seattle on Nov. 4.

Projected bowl:

2017 Cotton Bowl (Dec. 29, Arlington, Tx.)

Projected opponent:


Jerry Palm currently projects a CFP featuring Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Penn State. This despite knowing darn well that the two Big Ten schools play each other on Oct. 28, and one team will most certainly knock the other team out of contention for a CFP berth.

Jason Kirk of SB*Nation is more rational, picking Washington to face Clemson in the 2018 Sugar Bowl (and picking Wisconsin to face Alabama in the 2018 Rose Bowl over both the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions).

Washington State (6-0, 3-0 conference)

Its nice to see both Washington and Washington St. unbeaten. It's too bad that it can't stay this way, thanks to the two schools facing each other in the Apple Bowl on Nov. 25.

In the present, Wazzou is preparing to face Cal on the road in Berkley on Oct. 13. There is a chance the game could be postponed due to smoke from the fires raging in Northern California.The Huskies return home to host Colorado on Oct. 21, then go back on the road to face Arizona on Oct. 28.

Projected bowl:

2017 Alamo Bowl (Dec. 28, San Antonio, Tx.)

Projected opponent: 


Pac-12 South 


Five wins (Magic number: 1)

Pac-12 North


Pac-12 South 

USC (5-1, 3-1 conference)

USC lost its only game of the 2017 season so far to Washington St. in Week 5.  Its CFP chances would seem to depend on winning out the rest of the season, then winning the PAc-12 title.

To that end, the Trojans host Utah on Oct. 14, followed by the annual rivalry game vs. Notre Dame on Oct. 21 in South Bend. USC stays on the road to face Arizona State on Oct. 28.

Projected bowl:

2017 Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 30, Glendale, Az.)

Projected opponent: 

San Diego State

The Pac-12 being shut out of the Rose Bowl Game for the first time since 2011 is a beautiful thing. The closest the Pac-12 getting to the Rose Bowl Game on the New Years Six bowl level involving facing the Group of Five representative in Glendale is even better.

Four games (Magic number: 2)

Stanford (4-2, 3-1 conference)

Like Washington St. @ CalStanford's game this Saturday against Oregon might be postponed due to the currently raging fires in Northern California's affect on the air quality in the area. Stanford has a bye in Week 8, then travels to Oregon State on Oct. 26. The Cardinal remains on the road facing Washington St. on Nov. 4.

Projected bowl:

2017 Holliday Bowl (Dec. 28, San Diego, Ca.)

Projected opponent: 


Wait, Pac-12 bowl schadenfreude gets better, as the Holliday Bowl is the de facto Pac-12/Big Ten Rose Bowl showdown of the year.

Oregon (4-2, 1-2 conference)

See above about Oregon's road game vs. Stanford on Saturday. Beyond this weekend, Oregon travels to UCLA on Oct. 21, then hosts Utah on Oct. 28.

Projected bowl:

2017 Foster Farms Bowl (Dec. 27, Santa Clara, Ca.)

Projected opponent: 


Row the corn dogs!

Pac-12 South 

Utah (4-1, 1-1 conference)

Utah travels to USC this weekend. The Utes then host Arizona State on Oct. 21. A road game against Oregon finishes up the month on Oct. 28.

Projected bowl: 

2017 Sun Bowl (Dec. 29, El Paso, Tx.)

Projected opponent:


Well, somebody has to play Louisville.

Three games (Magic number: 3)

Cal (3-3,  0-3 conference) 

Again, see above about the potential for the California fires' affect on the Washington St. Cal this weekend.

Cal is also scheduled to host Arizona Oct. 21. The Golden Bears go on the road to face Colorado on Oct. 28.

Projected bowl: (David M. Hale, ESPN)

Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dec. 26, Dallas, Tx.)

Projected opponent:


Hale was the third bowl prognosticator I went to in search of someone who predicted Cal would go to a bowl.

Pac-12 South

Arizona (3-2, 1-1 conference)

Arizona hosts UCLA this Saturday. It travels to Cal on Oct. 21,  then host Washington St. on Oct. 28.
UCLA and Cal are going to have to be the places Arizona pick up some wins.

Projected bowl: (Kyle Bonagura and David M. Hale, ESPN)

2017 Cactus Bowl (Dec. 26, Phoenix, Az.)

Projected opponent:

Kansas State

ESPN was the third site I had to go in finding someone who projected Arizona going to a bowl this postseason.

Colorado (3-3, 0-3 conference) 

Colorado was being considered as earning a spot in the CFP this season. Then reality hit, and the Buffaloes are at the bottom of the Pac-12 South (and this despite having a better overall record than 2-3 Arizona State). Colorado will begin trying to right the ship this weekend as it travels to Oregon State. The road trip continues with the Wildcats being hosted by Washington St. on Oct. 21. It's back home to host Cal on Oct. 28.

Projected bowl:

2017 Cactus Bowl

Projected opponent: 


Colorado and Texas both have to be downcast about how their seasons turn out if this happens.

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