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Bowl projections: An El Paso new year

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 31 Sun Bowl - Stanford v Pitt Photo by Jorge Salgado/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Washington State Cougars regular season is now over and they can officially look ahead to the postseason with their new head coach. The Cougs were bowl eligible after their penultimate game with a win over the Arizona Wildcats but put a punctuation mark on it with a literal historic thrashing of the Washington Huskies.

There’s still one more Pac-12 regular season game to go thanks to COVID cases within the Cal Golden Bears program forcing the postponement of their game against the USC Trojans but no matter the result, it won’t change how many teams are bowl eligible. In fact, for the first time in my memory, the Pac-12 won’t be able to fill out their bowl commitments with only six eligible teams and seven bowl slots.

The winner of the Pac-12 Championship between the Oregon Ducks and Utah Utes will head to Pasadena with the loser going to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl, that much we know. But the remaining four teams are log jammed at 8-4 or 7-5, meaning the four other bowls can take pretty much whoever they want. It’s a weird process that involves a lot of behind closed doors type stuff but it is kinda, sorta well established.

So where do the Cougs end up? Lets see where things stand according to the prognosticators.

This is the first year for the new bowl schedule since so many were cancelled last year so here are the new tie-ins. Reminder: we won’t know what game the Cougs end up in until next Sunday at the earliest, the bowls wait for the CFP standings to be finalized (even the lower tier ones, there can be downstream effects everywhere).

  1. The Rose Bowl Game v. Big Ten: Saturday, Jan. 1st at 2:00 p.m. on ESPN
  2. Valero Alamo Bowl v. Big 12: Wednesday, Dec. 29th at 6:15 p.m. on ESPN
  3. SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl v. SEC or Big Ten (Big Ten this year): Thursday, Dec. 30th at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
  4. SDCCU Holiday Bowl v. ACC: Tuesday, Dec. 28th at 5:00 p.m. on Fox
  5. Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl v. ACC: Friday, Dec. 31st at 9:30 a.m. on CBS
  6. Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl v. MW: Saturday, Dec. 18th at 4:30 p.m. on ABC
  7. Redbox v. Big Ten: Cancelled for 2021
  8. Independence v. ACC

CBS: Sun vs. Miami

Going to be honest: this seems really, really unlikely. It’s also a remarkably unappealing game and a redux of the 2015 version. It’s very hard to believe that the Cougs are the least appealing team of the Oregon State Beavers, Arizona State Sun Devils and UCLA Bruins and, like OSU, have big “getting there” problems.

ESPN: Sun vs. Miami or Louisville

Okay, maybe there’s something to this? Man, my crimson colored glasses just won’t let me see Wazzu falling all the way to El Paso.

247: LA vs. SDSU

If we somehow fall all the way past the Sun Bowl ... this is actually a way more intriguing match-up. These teams are on the same coast, they’ve played each other in the past. Plus, it’s a hell of a lot easier to get to LA.