Bowl Projections: USC's upset creates Pac-12 chain reaction

Monday November 18th, 2013

Javorius Allen (37) and USC shook up the bowl projections with their upset of Stanford on Saturday.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Most would agree the Pac-12 is, at worst, the second-best conference this season. But USC's upset of Stanford likely cost the league a second BCS berth, since the Fiesta Bowl is not an option this year. That pushes all of the Pac-12's other teams down a rung and could leave two or more eligible teams without a guaranteed spot. They could land anywhere from Dallas to Detroit to Shreveport.

(NOTE: A previous version of this column included the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego as an option, but that game has a secondary agreement with the MAC. The table has been updated accordingly.)

RICKMAN: Orgeron, USC keep rolling with upset of Stanford

Elsewhere, my dream of a Northern Illinois-Notre Dame Pizza Bowl is likely no more -- the Fighting Irish have a lot of fans in New York and the Big 12 will not be able to fill its spot in the Pinstripe Bowl. Also, two unforeseen subplots emerged after I was done moving around this week's pieces. The Chick-fil-A Bowl could become the Steve Spurrier Bowl by pitting Duke against South Carolina, while the Outback Bowl could reunite old Big 8 rivals Nebraska and Missouri in a Big Ten-SEC matchup.

By the way, I'm currently projecting 76 eligible teams for 70 spots. The MAC and Sun Belt will each likely have multiple teams left out.

A quick refresher on how all this works:

• After the No. 1 and 2 teams are slotted and replaced, the BCS at-large selection order this year is: 1) Orange, 2) Sugar and 3) Fiesta, The highest-ranked champion from a non-automatic qualifier is guaranteed a BCS berth if it finishes in the top 12, or in the top 16 and ahead of an AQ-conference champion.

• Most bowls are not obligated -- I repeat, NOT OBLIGATED -- to choose in exact order of conference standings. For instance, "Big 12 No. 3" means "third selection of Big 12 teams," not "the Big 12's third-place team." Bowls often pick a team with an inferior record due to its location, the propensity of its fans to travel, the need to avoid a regular-season rematch or good old backroom politicking.

BCS bowls
DateBowlLocationPredicted matchup
Jan. 1RosePasadena, Calif.Ohio State (Big Ten champ) vs. Oregon (Pac-12 champ)
Jan. 1FiestaGlendale, Ariz.Baylor (Big 12 champ) vs. Fresno State (BCS at-large)
Jan. 2SugarNew OrleansAuburn (BCS at-large) vs. UCF (AAC champ)
Jan. 3OrangeMiamiClemson (BCS at-large) vs. Michigan State (BCS at-large)
Jan. 6BCS championshipPasadena, Calif.Alabama (BCS No. 1) vs. Florida State (BCS No. 2)

Other bowls
DateBowlLocationPredicted matchup
Dec. 21New MexicoAlbuquerque, N.M.San Diego State (MWC) vs. Washington State (Pac-12 No. 7)
Dec. 21Las VegasLas VegasBoise State (MWC No. 1) vs. USC (Pac-12 No. 5)
Dec. 21 Idaho PotatoBoise, IdahoSan Jose State (MWC) vs. Ball State (MAC)
Dec. 21 New OrleansNew OrleansLouisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt No. 1) vs. Tulane (C-USA)
Dec. 23 Beef 'O' Brady'sSt. Petersburg, Fla.Toledo (AAC*) vs. Marshall (C-USA)
Dec. 24HawaiiHonoluluUNLV (MWC) vs. Rice (C-USA)
Dec. 26 Little CaesarsDetroitNorthern Illinois (MAC) vs. Syracuse (Big Ten No. 8*)
Dec. 26 Poinsettia San Diego Utah State (MWC No. 2) vs. Buffalo (Army*)
Dec. 27Military Annapolis, Md.Maryland (ACC No. 8) vs. Middle Tennessee State (C-USA)
Dec. 27 TexasHoustonIowa (Big Ten No. 6) vs. Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 6)
Dec. 27Fight HungerSan Francisco Washington (Pac-12 No. 6) vs. BYU (BYU)
Dec. 28 PinstripeBronx, N.Y.Rutgers (AAC No. 4) vs. Notre Dame (Big 12 No. 7*)
Dec. 28 BelkCharlotteHouston (AAC No. 3) vs. Georgia Tech (ACC No. 5)
Dec. 28Russell AthleticOrlandoLouisville (AAC No. 2) vs. Miami (ACC No. 3)
Dec. 28Buffalo Wild WingsTempe, Ariz.Oklahoma (Big 12 No. 4) vs. Michigan (Big Ten No. 4)
Dec. 30Armed ForcesFort Worth, TexasColorado State (MWC) vs. Navy (Navy)
Dec. 30Music CityNashvilleBoston College (ACC No. 6) vs. Georgia (SEC)
Dec. 30AlamoSan AntonioStanford (Pac-12 No. 2) vs. Oklahoma State (Big 12 No. 3)
Dec. 30Holiday San DiegoUCLA (Pac-12 No. 3) vs. Kansas State (Big 12 No. 5)
Dec. 31AdvoCareShreveport, La.North Carolina (ACC No. 7) vs. Arizona (SEC*)
Dec. 31SunEl Paso, TexasVirginia Tech (ACC No. 4) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12 No. 4)
Dec. 31LibertyMemphisEast Carolina (C-USA No. 1) vs. Tennessee (SEC)
Dec. 31Chick-fil-AAtlantaDuke (ACC No. 2) vs. South Carolina (SEC)
Jan. 1Heart of DallasDallasOregon State (Big Ten No. 7*) vs. North Texas (C-USA)
Jan. 1GatorJacksonvilleMinnesota (Big Ten No. 5) vs. Ole Miss (SEC)
Jan. 1OutbackTampaNebraska (Big Ten No. 3) vs. Missouri (SEC)
Jan. 1Capital OneOrlandoTexas A&M (SEC No. 2) vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten No. 2)
Jan. 3CottonArlington, TexasTexas (Big 12 No. 2) vs. LSU (SEC)
Jan. 4BBVA CompassBirmingham, Ala.Cincinnati (AAC) vs. Vanderbilt (SEC)
Jan. 5GoDaddyMobile, Ala.Bowling Green (MAC) vs. Arkansas State (Sun Belt)

Teams in bold have accepted a bid.

* -- Replacement team for a conference without an eligible team

MANDEL: College Football Overtime: Baylor, Duke go from worst to first; more Overtime

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