No changes to our bowl projections this week.
But you can now see our thinking pretty clearly (for better or worse): Four bowl-eligible teams -- two in BCS bowls -- and an unfulfilling amount of 5-7.
We believe Auburn will lose the Iron Bowl at Alabama on Friday, thereby opening the door for an undefeated Boise State or TCU to play Oregon for the national title. That will secure Stanford a Rose Bowl invitation opposite the Big Ten champion.
Arizona will finish third and earn a berth in the Alamo Bowl. California will beat Washington on Saturday, improve to 6-6 -- becoming bowl-eligible -- and an unhappy Holiday Bowl, with no other options, will be forced to take the Bears.
Other possibilities: If Washington beats Cal, the Huskies would play the Apple Cup at Washington State on Dec. 4 with a chance to earn that Holiday Bowl berth.
Further, the winner of the UCLA's visit to Arizona State on Friday still has a chance. If the Bruins win, they play for their sixth win in their season finale against USC on Dec. 4. If the Sun Devils win, they do the same, only at Arizona on Dec.2 -- but only if they are given a waiver by the NCAA for having played two FCS teams.
We don't, however, believe the Bruins-Sun Devils winner will win their rivalry game.
Finally, if Oregon State wins at Stanford or beats Oregon in the Civil War at home on Dec. 4, it would become bowl-eligible. We don't think that's going to happen, but we feel less sure of it today than we did last week at this time.
Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Oregon vs. BCS team [a non-AQ]
Rose Bowl Game: Stanford vs. Big Ten
Valero Alamo: Arizona vs. Big 12
Bridgepoint Education Holiday: California vs. Big 12
Hyundai Sun: No team.
MAACO Las Vegas: No team
Kraft Fight Hunger: No team.