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Pac-12, CFP Bowl Projections: Will It Be Utah or Oregon in the Rose Bowl?

Five of our eight experts predict it will be the Utes in Pasadena; three say the Ducks. All eight agree on three of the four CFP teams

A handful of meaningful conference championship games remain this week before bowl invitations are handed out on Sunday. Yet there is still a lot of disagreement among the eight experts we cited regarding where teams will wind up.

The Pac-12 championship game on Friday night in Las Vegas will determine the conference's Rose Bowl representative, but three of our experts expect it to be Oregon and five predict it will be Utah, which beat Oregon 38-7 two weeks ago in Salt Lake City. Utah is a 3-point favorite

In the College Football Playoff projections, Michigan, Georgia and Cincinnati are predicted to be in the final four by all eight experts, and Oklahoma State is the fourth CFP team in all but one projection. But it will all depend on conference championship games this weekend:

Pac-12 championship: Utah vs. Oregon, Friday, 5 p.m. Pacific time, ABC

Big 12 championship: Oklahoma State vs. Baylor, Saturday, 9 a.m. Pacific time, ABC

SEC championship: Alabama vs. Georgia, Saturday, 1 p.m. Pacific time, ABC

American championship: Cincinnati vs. Houston, Saturday, 1 p.m. Pacific time, CBS

Big Ten championship game: Michigan vs. Iowa, Saturday, 5 p.m. Pacific time, FOX

Cal plays USC in a regular-season game on Saturday at 8 p.m. Pacific time on FS1.

The Pac-12 has seven guaranteed bowl spots, but will have only six bowl-eligible teams, so it will forfeit its spot in one of the three ESPN bowls (Gasparilla Bowl, First Responder Bowl and Armed Forces Bowl) that was to take a Pac-12 team.

However, there is some flexibility in the Pac-12 bowls' selection process. The pecking order of Pac-12 bowl selections is listed at the end of these projections, and generally teams are selected in the order of their conference finish. But it is my understanding that the Pac-12's top three bowls -- the Alamo, Las Vegas and Holiday bowls -- can pass over a team that finished higher in the standings as long as the team chosen by the bowl did not finish more than one game behind the team that was passed over.

If that is correct, it would seem that the projections of Sports Illustrated and 247 Sports that Oregon State will play in the Alamo Bowl is impossible.  The Alamo has the first pick of a Pac-12 team after the Rose Bowl, and the Beavers, at 5-4, finished two games behind Oregon and three behind Utah.

The latest CFP rankings will be released Tuesday night and the final CFP rankings will be revealed on Sunday at 9 a.m. Pacific time.

Here are the projections as of Nov. 29:

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ESPN (Kyle Bonagura)

Rose Bowl – Utah vs. Ohio State

Alamo Bowl – Oregon vs. Oklahoma

Las Vegas Bowl – Arizona State vs. Minnesota

Holiday Bowl – UCLA vs. North Carolina State

Sun Bowl – Washington State vs. Louisville

LA Bowl – Oregon State vs. San Diego State

---Cotton Bowl (national semifinal): Georgia vs. Cincinnati

---Orange Bowl (national semifinal): Michigan vs. Alabama

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ESPN (Mark Schlabach)

Rose Bowl – Oregon vs. Ohio State

Alamo Bowl – Utah vs. Oklahoma

Las Vegas Bowl – Arizona State vs. Wisconsin

Holiday Bowl – UCLA vs. Pittsburgh

Sun Bowl – Washington State vs. Miami (Fla.)

LA Bowl – Oregon State vs. San Diego State

---Cotton Bowl (national semifinal): Michigan vs. Cincinnati

---Orange Bowl (national semifinal): Georgia vs. Oklahoma State

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Sports Illustrated (Richard Johnson)

Rose Bowl – Utah vs. Iowa

Alamo Bowl – Oregon State vs. Kansas State

Las Vegas Bowl – Oregon vs. Purdue

Holiday Bowl – UCLA vs. North Carolina State

Sun Bowl – Arizona State vs. North Carolina

LA Bowl – Washington State vs. San Diego State

---Cotton Bowl (national semifinal): Michigan vs. Oklahoma State

---Orange Bowl (national semifinal): Georgia vs. Cincinnati

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Action Network (Brett McMurphy)

Rose Bowl – Utah vs. Ohio State

Alamo Bowl – Oregon vs. Oklahoma

Las Vegas Bowl – UCLA vs. Penn State

Holiday Bowl – Arizona State vs. Wake Forest

Sun Bowl – Oregon State vs. Miami (Fla.)

LA Bowl – Washington State vs. San Diego State

---Cotton Bowl (national semifinal): Michigan vs. Oklahoma State

---Orange Bowl (national semifinal): Georgia vs. Cincinnati

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CBS Sports (Jerry Palm)

Read More

Rose Bowl – Oregon vs. Ohio State

Alamo Bowl – Utah vs. Oklahoma

Las Vegas Bowl – Arizona State vs. Penn State

Holiday Bowl – UCLA vs. North Carolina State

Sun Bowl – Washington State vs. Miami (Fla.)

LA Bowl – Oregon State vs. Fresno State

---Cotton Bowl (national semifinal): Michigan vs. Cincinnati

---Orange Bowl (national semifinal): Georgia vs. Oklahoma State

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College Football News

Rose Bowl – Oregon vs. Ohio State

Alamo Bowl – Utah vs. Oklahoma

Las Vegas Bowl – Arizona State vs. Wisconsin

Holiday Bowl – UCLA vs. North Carolina State

Sun Bowl – Washington State vs. Miami (Fla.)

LA Bowl – Oregon State vs. San Diego State

---Cotton Bowl (national semifinal): Oklahoma State vs. Michigan

---Orange Bowl (national semifinal): Georgia vs. Cincinnati

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Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan)

Rose Bowl – Utah vs. Ohio State

Alamo Bowl – Oregon vs. Oklahoma

Las Vegas Bowl – UCLA vs. Minnesota

Holiday Bowl – Arizona State vs. Wake Forest

Sun Bowl – Washington State vs. Miami (Fla.)

LA Bowl – Oregon State vs. San Diego State

---Cotton Bowl (national semifinal): Michigan vs. Cincinnati

---Orange Bowl (national semifinal): Georgia vs. Oklahoma State

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247 Sports (Brad Crawford)

Rose Bowl – Utah vs. Ohio State

Alamo Bowl – Oregon State vs. Baylor

Las Vegas Bowl – Arizona State vs. Penn State

Holiday Bowl – Oregon vs. Pittsburgh

Sun Bowl – UCLA vs. Miami (Fla.)

LA Bowl – Washington State vs. San Diego State

---Cotton Bowl (national semifinal): Michigan vs. Cincinnati

---Orange Bowl (national semifinal): Georgia vs. Oklahoma State

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Here are the bowls with Pac-12 tie-ins, listed in their pecking order:

College Football Playoff semifinals (if a Pac-12 team finishes among the top four teams in the final College Football Playoff rankings): Cotton Bowl, Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. Pacific time or 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, Arlington, Texas (AT&T Stadium), ESPN, and Orange Bowl, Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. Pacific time or 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, Miami Gardens, Fla. (Hard Rock Stadium), ESPN.

1. Rose Bowl: Jan. 1, 2 p.m. Pacific time, Pasadena, Calif. (Rose Bowl Stadium), ESPN – Pac-12 vs. Big Ten.

2. Alamo Bowl: Dec. 29, 6:15 p.m. Pacific time, San Antonio (Alamodome), ESPN – Pac-12 vs. Big 12.

3. Las Vegas Bowl: Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m. Pacific time, Las Vegas (Allegiant Stadium), ESPN – Pac-12 vs. Big Ten

4. Holiday Bowl: Dec. 28, 5:30 p.m. Pacific time, San Diego (Petco Park), FOX/FS1 – Pac-12 vs. ACC

5. Sun Bowl: Dec. 31, 9:30 a.m. Pacific time, El Paso, Texas (Sun Bowl Stadium), CBS – Pac-12 vs. ACC

6. LA Bowl: Dec. 18, 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, Inglewood, Calif. (SoFi Stadium), ABC – Pac-12 vs. Mountain West.

First Responder Bowl -- The Pac-12 might occupy a spot in this bowl against a team from the ACC, American Athletic or Big 12.

Gasparilla Bowl -- The Pac-12 might fill an opening in this bowl against a team from the Big 12, ACC or SEC.

Armed Forces Bowl -- The Pac-12 could get a berth in this bowl

The Redbox Bowl (also known as the San Francisco Bowl) would have been No. 7 in the pecking order of Pac-12 bowls and was to match a Pac-12 team against a Big Ten team, but it has been canceled for the second straight year.

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Cover photo of Oregon-Utah is by Jeffrey Swinger, USA TODAY Sports

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Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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