Pac-10 bowl projections

The Rose Bowl picture has cleared. Most other things are muddy.

And the end result might not make some folks happy.

When I pencil out the rest of the season -- for what that is worth in this sometimes nutty conference -- I project four teams will finish with 6-3 conference records: USC, California, Oregon State and Stanford.

In that scenario, no way the Holiday Bowl passes up USC. The Trojans will sell tickets. They will boost TV ratings. And, at 9-3, USC probably will be back in the top-half of the national rankings.

The Sun Bowl then likely would take Cal, even though it lost to Oregon State. The Bears will have a better overall record -- 9-3 vs. 8-4 -- and, most of all, the Beavers played in the Sun Bowl last year.

The Emerald Bowl then would grab Stanford, hoping that the local connection will boost local coverage and ticket sales. Not to mention that Heisman Trophy candidate Toby Gerhart would be a good guy to put on the game posters.

So Oregon State heads to the Las Vegas Bowl. Arizona then goes to the Poinsettia Bowl.

As for UCLA, the Bruins are now the Pac-10's seventh bowl-eligible team. But the Pac-10 only has six bowl contract, so the Bruins will need to find an at-large berth with a bowl that has a vacancy. I just said Humanitarian because that's what Mark Schlabach said last week, and rumor has it Schlabach owns a crystal ball.

Here's a handy bowl schedule. And other bowl projections.

  • Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi: Oregon vs. Big Ten

  • Pacific Life Holiday: USC vs. Big 12

  • Brut Sun: California vs. Big 12/Big East/Notre Dame

  • Emerald: Stanford vs. ACC

  • MAACO Las Vegas: Oregon State vs. Mountain West

  • San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia: Arizona vs. Mountain West

  • Roady's Humanitarian: UCLA vs. WAC