Some changes in the bowl projections this week, with Stanford and Washington leading the charge.
We continue to project Oregon in the national title game, only we have replaced the Ducks' opponent. It is now Auburn. That matchup will be great fun.
If Auburn wins the SEC title game, that means TCU is going to the Rose Bowl, because of a clause in the BCS contract. But we are also projecting Stanford will climb into the No. 4 position in the BCS standings, which will earn the Cardinal a guaranteed spot in a BCS bowl, because of a clause in the BCS contract.
See: Sometimes clauses work for you.
The machination of bowl games are often hard to figure, but I am now projecting that Stanford ends up in the Fiesta Bowl. Why? Why not. It makes the most regional sense, and while the Cardinal doesn't have a huge fan base, it will drive TV ratings, with lots of folks tuning in to see quarterback Andrew Luck. And maybe some fans who have Jim Harbaugh on their coaching wish list this Christmas will be interested.
If you want to see an excellent breakdown of Stanford scenarios, go here.
The other big change is Washington to the Holiday Bowl, which means we believe the Huskies will win at Washington State on Saturday and improve to 6-6.
Finally, there's the Territorial Cup: Arizona State at Arizona.
The Sun Devils (5-6) bowl hopes are over. With 70 bowl-eligible teams, there is no need for the Pac-10 to apply for an NCAA waiver for the Sun Devils, who played two FCS teams and therefore, by NCAA rules, need seven wins to earn bowl eligibility.
Arizona State, however, might be able to make the Alamo Bowl think twice about taking the Wildcats. If the Sun Devils win Thursday, Arizona will finish the season with a four-game losing streak. Bowls don't like that.
While Washington lost big at Arizona, and would have a worse overall record, the Huskies would be 5-4 in Pac-10 play, the Wildcats 4-5. That might be enough for the Alamo Bowl to pick Jake Locker -- a big name for the game -- over the Wildcats.
Not sure the Holiday Bowl would be thrilled from a repeat visit from Arizona, but in that scenario it wouldn't have much of a choice.
Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Oregon vs. Auburn
Rose Bowl Game: TCU vs. Big Ten
Fiesta Bowl: Stanford vs. Big 12 champion
Valero Alamo: Arizona vs. Big 12
Bridgepoint Education Holiday: Washington vs. Big 12
Hyundai Sun: No team.
MAACO Las Vegas: No team
Kraft Fight Hunger: No team.