- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Phil Steele released his latest poll projections yesterday and there are some interesting postseason destinations for Pac-12 teams.
First, here's a look at his projections:
Washington (Pac-12 No. 7) vs. Air Force (MWC No. 4) in the New Mexico Bowl
Utah (Pac-12 No. 5) vs. Boise State (MWC No. 1) in the Maaco Bowl
UCLA (Pac-12 No. 3) vs. Kansas State (Big 12 No. 5) in the Holiday Bowl
Cal (Pac-12 No. 6) vs. Navy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Stanford (Pac-12 No. 2) vs. West Virginia (Big 12 No. 3) in the Alamo Bowl
Oregon State (Pac-12 No. 4) vs. NC State (ACC No. 4) in the Sun Bowl
USC (BCS Pac-12 No. 1) vs. Wisconsin (BCS Big 10 No. 1) in the Rose Bowl
Oregon (BCS at-large) vs. USF (BCS ACC No. 1) in the Orange Bowl
Some quick thoughts:
I agree that Oregon and USC will both be in BCS games -- though I think one of them is going to end up in the national championship game. I don't know which one, but I'm pretty confident one of them will be there.
Some pretty lofty projections for Oregon State and UCLA. I don't have any issue with projecting either them to the postseason, but I think their predicted finishes are too high. The Beavers still have significant holes on the offensive line. And though there is promise of an improved running game, I'm going to have to see it before even considering them in the same class as Utah, Cal and Washington. Likewise for the Bruins -- who need to figure out who is going to be their quarterback before we anoint them to a mid-level bowl game.
Washington, Stanford, Cal and Utah are tough to predict because they could all land anywhere between the two and five hole. Washington to the New Mexico Bowl though is a head-scratcher. I'd likely reserve that spot for Oregon State, UCLA or even Washington State -- who I would say is probably more bowl ready than either the Bruins or the Beavers.
Guessing USF (a Big East team) ends up in the Orange Bowl since Florida State (an ACC team) is tabbed for the national championship? However that math worked out, if it actually comes to fruition that Oregon plays USF, the Ducks will make last year's Orange Bowl (West Virginia 70, Clemson 33) look like a nail biter.