We hope you enjoyed your bye week that finally came some 11 weeks into the season. The break after nearly three straight months of games gave the players an opportunity to rest up before a big rivalry match-up with plenty on the line. It’s simple for the Cougs: win and you’re in the Pac-12 Championship game. Lose ... and you’re not.
Bowl wise, not too much has changed from week to week but things are at least getting a little clearer. Is a New Years Six game a possibility? Absolutely. But, at minimum, it requires beating the Washington Huskies and then picking up a win against the USC Trojans for the second time. A tall task to be sure.
So where could the Cougs end up? Lets see what the experts think! As always, a reminder of the tie-ins for this season:
- Alamo Bowl: Dec. 28th, 6:00 p.m. on ESPN vs. Big 12
- Holiday Bowl: Dec. 28th, 6:00 p.m. on FS1 vs. Big Ten
- Foster Farms Bowl: Dec. 27th, 5:30 p.m. on FOX vs. Big Ten
- Sun Bowl: Dec. 29th, 12:00 p.m. on CBS vs. ACC/Notre Dame
- Las Vegas Bowl: Dec. 16th, 12:30 p.m. on ABC vs. Mountain West
- Cactus Bowl: Dec. 26th, 6:00 p.m. on ESPN vs. Big 12
(Reminder: The Rose Bowl is not an automatic tie-in this year for the Pac-12 Champion; it’s one of the College Football Playoff semifinal games.)
Also, here’s Jeff’s excellent explainer from a couple years ago on how all of this works, because it can be stupidly confusing.
SB Nation: Holiday Bowl
I’ll be honest: I don’t see this happening. My inclination would be that the bowl will pass on the Cougs, given that they just appeared in the game last year and the game was ... well, bad. Washington, the Stanford Cardinal, or even the Arizona Wildcats (assuming they can beat the ASU Sun Devils) all seem like better options here.
ESPN: Alamo Bowl
A game against the Texas Longhorns in San Antonio, or even the Oklahoma State Cowboys, would be a hell of a time. Even with a loss in the Apple Cup, the Alamo Bowl could reach down and grab the Cougs, though that would probably be a tough sell.
CBS: Foster Farms Bowl
This seems like the most likely landing spot if the Cougs can win the Apple Cup. Jerry Palm also believes they’d get a chance to preview their future non-conference opponent, the Utah State Aggies, though I can’t imagine that game would get big ratings.
Sports Illustrated: Fiesta Bowl
Click here for the “everything goes right” scenario. That represents a win in the Apple Cup, plus a win in the Pac-12 Championship. It could happen! It’s also on my birthday so, yes, lets do that.