UCLA (6-6) may slip into a bowl game but its situation is precarious.
This is the best primer I've seen on where things stand with potential at-large berths in bowl games. Bowling Green, Northern Illinois and Middle-Tennessee each have to be selected before the Bruins because they own winning records, and there appear to be only five open spots.
Because Stanford beat Notre Dame, the Gator Bowl will be a Big East game. That means all six bowl-eligible Big East teams will play in contracted bowls, so that's one less at-large team ahead of UCLA.
Ah, but that also puts the Fighting Irish (6-6) in the middle of this. Even with the likely firing of Charlie Weis, Notre Dame's national standing is appealing. The Irish likely would be picked ahead of the Bruins, but it's also possible Notre Dame would take a pass on a middling bowl game. This projection has UCLA going to the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala, for that very reason.
A bowl can only select a 6-6 team for an at-large berth after all winning teams have been accounted for.
That means UCLA fans wanting a bowl berth should root for Wisconsin over Hawaii on Saturday.
And then cross your fingers.
As for our projections, there are no changes from last week. I'm sticking with UCLA in the Humanitarian Bowl because it seems like the most humane choice for the bowl, but know that it appears I am alone projecting this. So, I'm probably wrong.
Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi: Oregon vs. Big Ten
Pacific Life Holiday: USC vs. Big 12
Brut Sun: California vs. Big 12/Big East/Notre Dame
Emerald: Stanford vs. ACC
MAACO Las Vegas: Oregon State vs. Mountain West
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia: Arizona vs. Mountain West
Roady's Humanitarian: UCLA vs. WAC