- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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The only good thing about the bowl projections this week is that we know for a fact that there are eight Pac-12 teams that will be bowl eligible. Other than that -- to quote Veronica Sawyer from "Heathers" -- "Chaos, [expletive] chaos."
The Rose Bowl still remains the big unknown. UCLA, Stanford and Oregon all have a shot at the Rose Bowl still -- though Stanford and UCLA are in the strongest positions because they control their respective destinies heading into their season finale against each other on Saturday in Pasadena, Calif. In simplest terms: If Stanford wins out, it goes to the Rose Bowl. If UCLA wins out, it goes to the Rose Bowl. Just like last week, we give Stanford the nod because of their record against UCLA's common opponents (UCLA's losses were to Cal and Oregon State, and Stanford beat both teams). But based on the way both teams played Saturday, you'd be better off flipping a coin.
At question is who UCLA plays in the conference title game, since the Bruins have already locked up the South. Stanford wins the North with a win at UCLA or an Oregon loss in the Civil War. If Stanford and Oregon both lose, the Cardinal have tiebreakers over both Oregon schools. And if both win, Stanford has the tiebreaker over the Ducks. Oregon wins the North with a win in the Civil War and a Stanford loss. Oregon's national title hopes aren't dead -- but they are on life support. We're projecting a BCS at-large bid for now. Some have Texas A&M to the Fiesta Bowl, which is where we're projecting Oregon. Would be mighty fun to see the Johnny Manziel-Marcus Mariota debate play out.
Arizona State joined the postseason party and broke a four-game skid with its win over Washington State -- setting up a fun matchup this week against Arizona that could determine which tier bowl game either goes to. Despite a late-season push, the Utes saw their bowl chances dashed with a home loss to Arizona, joining Cal, Colorado and Washington State in the see-ya-next-year crowd.
Rose Bowl Game, Jan. 1: Stanford vs. Big Ten
Tostitos Fiesta, Jan. 3: Oregon vs. BCS
Valero Alamo, Dec. 29: UCLA vs. Big 12
Bridgepoint Education Holiday, Dec. 27: Oregon State vs. Big 12
Hyundai Sun, Dec. 31: Washington vs. ACC
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, Dec. 22: Arizona vs. MWC
Kraft Fight Hunger, Dec. 29: USC vs. Navy
Gildan New Mexico, Dec. 15: Arizona State vs. MWC