Stanford, up four spots to No. 7 in the newest College Football Playoff rankings, remains a serious contender for one of the four playoff spots but -- even if it wins out -- will still need some help to be selected.
Not a lot, but definitely some.
Should the Big Ten champion (Ohio State/Iowa), Big 12 champion (Baylor/Oklahoma State) and Clemson all finish undefeated in addition to a one-loss SEC champion, a 12-1 Stanford team will probably be out. The same logic applies for No. 10 Utah, which, also with one loss, is still within striking distance.
If we learned anything about the selection process in its first year, it's that patience is important. The odds that the final rankings resemble what was released Tuesday are slim and, at this point, there are too many conceivable scenarios in play to pretend we know what will happen.
With that in mind, here are this week's Pac-12 bowl projections:
Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual: Stanford Cardinal
Valero Alamo Bowl: Utah Utes
National University Holiday Bowl: UCLA Bruins
Foster Farms Bowl: USC Trojans
Hyundai Sun Bowl: Washington State Cougars
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: Oregon Ducks
Cactus Bowl: California Golden Bears
At-large: Washington Huskies