Pac-12 Bowl Projections: Stanford could sneak into the Rose Bowl

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Two new Pac-12 teams joined the ranks of the bowl eligible club, pushing the number of conference teams headed to the postseason up to seven. That total matches last year's number and there are still a few more schools that could hit the necessary six-win threshold.

While there still is plenty of football left to be played, the bowl picture is starting to come into focus. Here’s an overview of where various media outlets are predicting each Pac-12 team winds up and who they might be playing in the postseason.

Oregon (10-0, 7-0 conference)

Sports Illustrated: BCS championship (against Kansas State)

ESPN: BCS championship (against Kansas State) BCS championship (against Kansas State) BCS championship (against Kansas State)

Alabama's loss to Texas A&M has thrown the SEC's streak of national championships in jeopardy and has shaken up the race to get to Miami. Oregon has been sitting pretty in the title game the past few months so not much has changed outside of their opponent, which most pundits have switched to undefeated and new BCS No. 1 team Kansas State. No huddle vs. no mistakes, anybody? Sounds like fun.

[Related: Full BCS rankings]

Stanford (8-2, 6-1)

ESPN: Rose Bowl (against Nebraska) Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy) Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (against TCU)

In what could wind up being a semifinal game to sneak into the Rose Bowl (with Oregon going to the national championship), Stanford topped Oregon State in a thriller this past Saturday to force a number of recalculations regarding the Pac-12 bowl lineup. While only one outlet is projecting them to head to the granddaddy of them all in Pasadena, it's clear the Cardinal are riding high in the conference pecking order when bowl selections come around. Among the things that likely need to happen to get Stanford to the Rose Bowl: Kansas State remains ahead of Oregon in the BCS standings (Fiesta Bowl would pick Notre Dame), additional losses by Oklahoma/Texas and South Carolina beats Clemson.

Oregon State (7-2, 5-2)

ESPN: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (against TCU) Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (against Texas Tech) Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy)

It's been a rough week for Beavers fans, falling from a consensus Rose Bowl pick to a bit further down in the lineup. Still, this has been a great season up in Corvallis. Hopefully the fans will be able to look back to preseason projections that didn't even have Oregon State in a bowl game and appreciate the exciting journey to 7-2.

[RelatedArizona's Ka'Deem Carey breaks Pac-12 rushing record]

UCLA (8-2, 5-2)

ESPN: Valero Alamo Bowl (against Oklahoma State) Hyundai Sun Bowl (against Miami) Valero Alamo Bowl (against Oklahoma State)

Some minor shuffling is needed as another week passes in college football, but one thing is clear: the Bruins should wind up in a very nice spot in Jim Mora's first season. Fun fact - the last bowl game the coach played in was the 1983 Aloha Bowl against Penn State.

USC (6-3, 4-3)

ESPN: Hyundai Sun Bowl (against Virginia Tech) Valero Alamo Bowl (against West Virginia) MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against Fresno State)

Where the Trojans land depends a lot on what happens this weekend in their crosstown showdown against the rival Bruins. Nevertheless, the team is going bowling for the first time in two years and there still remains the possibility of getting to the Rose Bowl if the team wins out.

Washington (6-4, 4-3)

ESPN: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (against Navy) MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against Boise State) Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Boise State)

Thanks to a win over Utah, Washington is headed to its third straight bowl game under Steve Sarkisian. The Huskies could land at a number of different spots but with a large and passionate fan base, they should be an attractive pick.

[Related: Kasen Williams makes catch of the day]

Arizona (6-4, 3-4)

ESPN: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (against a Mountain West team) Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Nevada) Hyundai Sun Bowl (against Georgia Tech)

A win against Colorado vaulted Arizona into the ranks of the bowl eligible this past weekend. As Rich Rodriguez said post game however, "Six is nice, eight is better!"

Arizona State (5-5, 3-4)

ESPN: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against a Mountain West team) Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Nevada)

The Sun Devils need a win in their final two games (Washington State or in the Territorial Cup against Arizona) to hit the magic number of six wins. It will no doubt be an important accomplishment for Todd Graham's staff as they'll be able to get extra practices with the team in the lead up to the game.

Utah (4-5, 2-4) AdvoCare v100 Independence Bowl (against Louisiana Tech)

Yet again, only one site has the Utes making the bowl following their loss over the weekend. With Arizona and Colorado coming up and needing to win out, Utah will be an interesting team to keep track of as the conference could have more bowl teams than bowl tie-ins.

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