A look at Pac-10 bowl possibilities, take 2

November, 24, 2008
11/24/08
3:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Another crack at the swirl of bowl possibilities.

Who's in: USC (9-1. 7-1), Oregon State (8-3, 7-1), Oregon (8-3, 6-2), California (7-4, 5-3), Arizona (6-5, 4-4)

Who's out: Stanford, Washington and Washington State.

Who's a maybe: Arizona State or UCLA.

The loser of UCLA's visit to ASU on Friday is out. The winner then needs to beat its arch rival -- USC or Arizona -- to earn a sixth win and bowl eligibility.

So, at most, the Pac-10 can have six bowl-eligible teams. Or it can end up with only five, meaning it won't fill at least two of its seven bowl contracts.

The bowl contracts (selection order): Rose (1), Holiday (2), Sun (3), Las Vegas (4 or 5), Emerald (4 or 5), Hawaii (6), Poinsettia (7).

The selection rule: If there is a tie for the Pac-10 championship, the head-to-head winner among the tied teams shall be awarded the Conference's top bowl position. In the event of a tie for any position in the standings other than the championship, the selecting bowl may choose its participant from among the tied teams.

So if Oregon and Cal end up tied, the bowl has a right to select Oregon, even though Cal beat Oregon.

Quirks of note: 1. If the Pac-10 has two BCS teams, the Holiday is not required to follow the order of finish; 2. The Sun Bowl has the right to reject a team that played in the game last year, meaning Oregon. 3. The Las Vegas and Emerald Bowls have a relationship, meaning Vegas might give up Cal to give the Emerald Bowl a local angle.

First big issue to be settled: Does the Pac-10 get two BCS bowl berths? That would mean Oregon State beats Oregon and goes to the Rose Bowl and USC beats Notre Dame and UCLA and earns an at-large berth.

Here's the team-by-team breakdown.

Arizona: Loss to Oregon State eliminated the Sun Bowl.

Possibilities: Vegas, Emerald, Hawaii

Prediction: Vegas.

Arizona State: The Sun Devils need to win their final two games to become bowl eligible.

Possibilities: ASU could slip into the Vegas or Emerald bowls or the sixth slot (Hawaii).

Prediction: Out.

California: Cal is rooting for Oregon State to beat Oregon.

Possibilities: Holiday Bowl (both USC and OSU in BCS bowls) or Emerald bowl -- if arrangement is made with Las Vegas.

Prediction: Holiday Bowl

Oregon: Beating Oregon State in the Civil War likely means Holiday.

Possibilities: Holiday, Sun (if bowl wants Ducks back again), Vegas

Prediction: Vegas.

Oregon State: If Oregon State beats Oregon, it goes to the Rose Bowl.

Possibilities: Rose, Holiday, Sun

Prediction: Rose Bowl.

UCLA: UCLA needs to beat Arizona State and USC to become bowl eligible.

Possibilities: The Bruins could slip into the Vegas or Emerald bowls or the sixth slot (Hawaii).

Prediction: Out.

USC: Bet most USC fans and players are actually rooting for Oregon State.

Possibilities: If the Trojans win out -- Notre Dame and UCLA -- they either go to the Rose Bowl (with an Oregon State loss) or are a strong bet for another BCS bowl as an at-large pick.

Prediction: Fiesta Bowl.

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