As expected, some bowl games are making deals to shift around matchups. While there are conference tie-ins, it's no unusual to see some of the lower-tier bowls make deals -- trading one conference for another in an effort to secure the best matchups possible. Add in that many of the bowls are owned by ESPN, and it's not shocking to see a musical bowl chairs on the day bowl matchups are released.
What we've seen so far:
Middle Tennessee State is reportedly going to the Armed Forces Bowl. That's a bowl that should be the MWC vs. Navy. MTSU is a C-USA team, which means someone switched.
The other shoe here:
I'm told an MWC team (likely UNLV) now going to Heart of Dallas Bowl, Boise State-Pac-12 (Oregon St?) likely game in Hawaii.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 8, 2013
So someone from the Pac-12 is going to Hawaii, adding a slot for the Pac-12. This leaves one more spot open that the Pac-12 needs to get all nine teams in -- likely the Independence Bowl.
So where does this leave Washington State? Probably where we thought the Cougs would be: In New Mexico, or perhaps Shreveport, or maybe Hawaii out of nowhere.
The fact that the Pac-12 picked up a game -- in somewhat unexpected fashion -- is good news for Oregon State, Arizona and Washington State, though. Things are getting a little more clear, but won't likely be officially announced until after the BCS unveils its selections this evening.
Update: The New Mexico Bowl picked Colorado State as expected. Waiting on the second Pac-12 team here, and may have to wait for a few more dominos to fall to get something official.
Colorado State Rams accept bid to play in Gildan New Mexico Bowl.Looking forward to seeing all you Ram fans in Albuquerque.— GildanNewMexicoBowl (@GildanNMbowl) December 8, 2013
There are still plenty of rumors floating around, but it appears New Mexico is the likely destination for Washington State. Oregon State and Boise State are both playing in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, so that bowl matchup is logical. Arizona may be off to Shreveport for New Year's, as well.
One thing that could change this: Lobbying on the BCS side. Oregon will do ratings in the Sugar Bowl, while Oklahoma will pull in better ticket sales (and that bowl has a Big 12 tie going forward). There still may be a slim shot Oregon gets in, thus moving everyone in the Pac-12 up a slot. It seems unlikely, but who knows at this point.
For what it's worth, Jerry Palm has WSU in New Mexico, Arizona in Shreveport and Oregon State in Hawaii.
You can track all the bowl coverage here at CougCenter in our Bowl Projections StoryStream.