Final bowl projections: Clarity comes with conclusion of regular season

The Pac-12 regular season is over and with it, the bowl picture for the conference has gone from murky to fairly straight forward. At this point, the only true question mark that remains is whether North Division winner Stanford or South Division winner UCLA head to the Rose Bowl after taking home the conference title on Friday. Several non-Pac-12 teams have already accepted invites, but most of the league's bowl selections will be announced Sunday.

To recap, here's the bowl selection order for the Pac-12's seven tie-ins:

1. Rose Bowl
2. Other BCS bowls (if applicable)
3. Valero Alamo Bowl
4. Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl
5. Hyundai Sun Bowl
6. MAACO Las Vegas Bowl
7. Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
8. Gildan New Mexico Bowl

A reminder that a bowl can pick a team with a worse win-loss record than a team above them in the standings, provided the teams are within one win of each other. Here’s an overview of where various media outlets are predicting each Pac-12 team winds up and whom they might be playing in the postseason.

nothingStanford (10-2, 8-1)

ESPN: Rose Bowl (against Nebraska)

Sports IllustratedRose Bowl (against Nebraska)

CBSSports.com: Rose Bowl (against Nebraska)

CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Rose Bowl (against Wisconsin) Fischer: Rose Bowl (against Nebraska) Just about everybody is expecting a repeat performance from the weekend and a Stanford victory over UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The Cardinal would give the Rose Bowl some much needed buzz with a top 10 team making a return to Pasadena in the postseason for the first time in nearly two decades.

nothingOregon (11-1, 8-1 conference)

ESPN: Fiesta Bowl (against Kansas State)

Sports Illustrated: Fiesta Bowl (against Kansas State)

CBSSports.com: Fiesta Bowl (against Kansas State)

CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Fiesta Bowl (against Kansas State)

Fischer: Fiesta Bowl (against Kansas State) The Ducks needed help if they were to sneak back into the national title game discussion but alas, it didn't happen over the weekend as they blitzed their rival to the North in the Civil War. With the most recent BCS standings, it looks doubtful that Oregon would move into the top four to automatically secure a spot one of the four games. But given their record and fan base, it's a virtual lock they wind up in Arizona to play an opponent they should have faced this season in Kansas State.

nothingOregon State (8-3, 6-3)

ESPN: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (against Texas Tech)

Sports Illustrated: Valero Alamo Bowl (against Oklahoma State)

CBSSports.com: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (against Texas Tech)

CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (against West Virginia)

Fischer: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (against Texas Tech) Oregon State is one of several teams that could wind up in a number of spots, but given their great season, most have the Beavers headed to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl.

nothingWashington (7-5, 5-4)

ESPN: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against Boise State)

Sports Illustrated: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against Boise State)

CBSSports.com: Hyundai Sun Bowl (against N.C. State)

CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against Boise State)

Fischer: Hyundai Sun Bowl (against Virginia Tech) It sounds as though a trip to Las Vegas could be in the cards for the Huskies, which may be the only comforting/exciting news about the team this week following their Apple Cup loss. There remains a possibility they end up in El Paso because officials would be looking to avoid a game against Boise State, whom Washington plays to open the 2013 season.

nothingUCLA (9-3, 6-3)

ESPN: Valero Alamo Bowl (against Texas)

Sports Illustrated: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (against West Virginia)

CBSSports.com: Valero Alamo Bowl (against TCU)

CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Valero Alamo Bowl (against Oklahoma State)

Fischer: Valero Alamo Bowl (against Oklahoma State) Where the Bruins go in the postseason is pretty much determined once the clock hits zero in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Win and they're headed to the Rose Bowl. Lose and it's a trip to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl and a to-be-determined Big 12 foe.

nothingUSC (7-5, 5-4)

ESPN: Hyundai Sun Bowl (against Georgia Tech)

Sports Illustrated: Hyundai Sun Bowl (against Georgia Tech)

CBSSports.com: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against Boise State)

CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Hyundai Sun Bowl (against Georgia Tech)

Fischer: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against Boise State) It's safe to say, if we go back to the preseason, that none of the bowls the Trojans are projected to wind up in would have thought the team would be here for the taking. Yet there they are, headed to a number of destinations. Because it's the first bowl game USC will go to after its NCAA-mandated ban, it's likely it'll be an attractive program and one that could cause a number of changes in the Pac-12 bowl lineup.

nothingArizona State (7-5, 5-4)

ESPN: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy)

Sports Illustrated: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy)

CBSSports.com: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy)

CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy)

Fischer: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Nevada) By virtue of their Territorial Cup victory, it looks as though the Sun Devils are headed to the Bay Area to take on Navy, but that matchup is by no means set in stone.

nothingArizona (7-5, 4-5)

ESPN: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Nevada)

Sports Illustrated: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Nevada)

CBSSports.com: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Nevada)

CollegeFootballNews.com/Scout.com: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Nevada)

Fischer: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy) It's still possible that the Wildcats get bumped up in the pecking order, but with their loss to the rival Sun Devils, it seems very likely they'll play in the first bowl game the Pac-12 has a tie-in to. One factor that could work in their favor however is Arizona officials making a case not to play on December 15, date of the New Mexico Bowl, due to a big non-conference matchup against top 10 ranked Florida in men's basketball. That contest would probably hurt ticket sales and cause a trade of the Arizona schools between the New Mexico Bowl and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

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