As the college football season heats up, the postseason selection process becomes a topic of great interest and speculation. With the release of the first College Football Playoff rankings just a week away, fans eagerly await the unveiling of the top 25 teams. In the Pac-12 conference, several teams are vying for coveted spots in the New Year’s Six games, adding an extra layer of excitement to the mix. Explore the latest Pac-12 bowl forecast in Six teams alive for New Year’s Six bids to see which teams are in the running and what lies ahead for them. See on ndtmusic.edu.vn
Postseason Selection Process and College Football Playoff Rankings
Overview of the Postseason Selection Process
Before diving into the latest Pac-12 bowl forecast, it’s important to understand the postseason selection process in college football. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl are designated as the hosts for the College Football Playoff (CFP) semifinals. This means that the Pac-12 champion will participate in either the Fiesta, Peach, or Cotton bowls, unless they qualify for the CFP.
The Pac-12 has contractual agreements with seven bowl games this season: the New Year’s Six, Alamo, Las Vegas, Holiday, Sun, LA, and Independence bowls. If there are more eligible teams than available spots, the conference will try to secure invitations to other bowls with vacancies.
Release of College Football Playoff Rankings
The first College Football Playoff rankings will be released one week from now, starting on Halloween. For the following four Tuesdays, the selection committee will reveal its top 25 teams on ESPN. The final rankings, which are the only rankings that matter, will be unveiled on December 3.
These rankings are crucial not only for determining the CFP semifinalists but also for selecting the participants in the other four New Year’s Six games. This year, the Pac-12 has several strong candidates for these prestigious bowl games.
As of now, four Pac-12 teams have fewer than two losses and are still in the playoff race: Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, and Utah. Additionally, USC and UCLA have fewer than three losses and are in the candidate pool for New Year’s Six bids.
While the situation may change after this week’s games, with the Oregon-Utah loser being unofficially eliminated from the playoff chase, it is expected that half of the conference will still be alive for New Year’s Six berths when the selection committee’s first rankings are released next week.
Pac-12 Bowl Projections
College Football Playoff/Rose Bowl
Based on current projections, the Washington Huskies, with a perfect 7-0 record, are expected to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff. As the projected No. 3 seed, they would likely face either Ohio State or Michigan in the Rose Bowl. This prestigious matchup would provide an exciting clash between two powerhouse programs.
New Year’s Six/Fiesta Bowl
The Oregon Ducks, with a 6-1 record, are projected to earn a spot in the New Year’s Six bowl games. The Fiesta Bowl seems to be the most likely destination for the Ducks. However, it’s important to note that there are six at-large spots available in the New Year’s Six bowls, with one reserved for the top-ranked Group of Five team. The Ducks could potentially end up in Dallas or Atlanta, depending on the final bowl selections.
The Oregon State Beavers, with a 6-1 record, are currently projected to play in the Alamo Bowl. They have two remaining home games against Stanford and Washington, as well as three road games against Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon. It’s worth noting that the Beavers did not face a Power Five opponent in non-conference play, which could be a topic of discussion with the selection committee if they are in contention for a New Year’s Six bowl spot.
Las Vegas Bowl
The Utah Utes, with a 6-1 record, are projected to participate in the Las Vegas Bowl. They have three home games remaining against Oregon, Arizona State, and Colorado, as well as two road games against Washington and Arizona. The Utes have shown great potential, and with the emergence of safety Sione Vaki as an offensive playmaker, they could surprise and potentially secure a higher bowl placement.
The USC Trojans, with a 6-2 record, are currently projected to play in the Holiday Bowl. They have two home games remaining against Washington and UCLA, as well as two road games against Cal and Oregon. The Holiday Bowl has historically shown an aversion to inviting UCLA, which could work in favor of the Trojans if they slide into the middle of the pack.
The Arizona Wildcats, with a 4-3 record, are projected to participate in the Sun Bowl. They have three home games remaining against Oregon State, UCLA, and Utah, as well as two road games against Colorado and Arizona State. The Wildcats have exceeded expectations this season, and their participation in a postseason bowl game would be highly coveted, especially for second-tier games.
The UCLA Bruins, with a 5-2 record, are currently projected to play in the LA Bowl. They have three home games remaining against Colorado, Arizona State, and Cal, as well as two road games against Arizona and USC. If the Bruins are unable to secure a spot in the Alamo or Las Vegas Bowls, they may slide into the LA Bowl due to the Holiday Bowl’s presumed aversion and the Sun Bowl’s reticence over inviting a repeat participant.
The Washington State Cougars, with a 4-3 record, are projected to participate in an at-large bowl game. They have two home games remaining against Stanford and Colorado, as well as three road games against Arizona State, Cal, and Washington. The Cougars face increasing challenges as the season progresses, and a loss against Arizona State could significantly impact their bowl prospects.
Two teams in the Pac-12, the Colorado Buffaloes and the Cal Bears, currently have records of 4-3 and 3-4, respectively, and are not projected to qualify for a bowl game. The Buffaloes have come close to a bowl berth in previous seasons but face a challenging schedule ahead. The Bears, on the other hand, have shown improvement and have a better chance of securing victories, particularly against USC.
The Arizona State Sun Devils, with a 1-6 record, are currently ineligible for a bowl game. Despite their effort, their results have not been favorable this season. If bowl bids were based on effort alone, the Sun Devils would have already clinched a berth.
With the release of the College Football Playoff rankings approaching, the Pac-12 conference has several teams in contention for postseason bowl games. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will host the CFP semifinals, leaving the Pac-12 champion to participate in the Fiesta, Peach, or Cotton bowls. The conference is also contractually tied to seven other bowl games. Currently, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, and Utah are in the playoff race, while USC and UCLA are candidates for New Year’s Six bids. The projections for the Pac-12 teams include Washington in the Rose Bowl, Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl, Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl, Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl, USC in the Holiday Bowl, Arizona in the Sun Bowl, UCLA in the LA Bowl, and Washington State, Colorado, Cal, Stanford, and Arizona State as non-qualifiers or ineligible teams. Stay tuned for the official rankings and let the bowl season excitement begin!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the College Football Playoff semifinals and which bowls will host them?
The College Football Playoff semifinals are two games that determine which teams will compete for the national championship. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl are the designated host bowls for the semifinals.
What happens if the Pac-12 champion does not qualify for the College Football Playoff?
If the Pac-12 champion does not qualify for the College Football Playoff, they will be selected to participate in one of the Fiesta, Peach, or Cotton bowls.
How many bowl games is the Pac-12 contractually tied to this season?
The Pac-12 is contractually tied to seven bowl games this season. These include the New Year’s Six bowls, Alamo Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Sun Bowl, LA Bowl, and Independence Bowl.
When will the College Football Playoff rankings be released?
The first College Football Playoff rankings will be released on Halloween, and subsequent rankings will be revealed on the following four Tuesdays. The final rankings, which determine the playoff teams, will be unveiled on December 3.
Which Pac-12 teams are currently in contention for the College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six bowls?
As of now, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, and Utah have fewer than two losses and are alive in the playoff race. USC and UCLA, with fewer than three losses, are also candidates for New Year’s Six bowl bids.