Pac-10 bowl projections

Bowl projections in October are virtually meaningless, but that's not going to stop us for doing them!

There are two problems in the Pac-10: The special BCS rule that forces the Rose Bowl to take a non-AQ team should it lose the Pac-10 or Big Ten champion to the national title game. That means if Oregon wins out and plays for the national championship which -- what the hay! -- we decided to project, it's likely the No. 2 team in the Pac-10 won't go to the Granddaddy, no matter how highly its ranked.

So 11-1 Stanford could end up in the Alamo Bowl, unless another BCS bowl picked it (see the selection rules here) for an at-large berth. And the way BCS bowls select at-large teams isn't based on merit -- it's based on ticket sales and selling hotel rooms. So a No. 5 Stanford team might get passed over for a No. 9 Iowa team with two losses.

The second issue is the competitive depth of the Pac-10. There are a lot of scenarios where the conference ends up with fewer than six bowl-eligible teams. Go through your schedule and figure out how many teams get to six or seven wins -- and remember that USC is only a spoiler because it isn't eligible for the postseason due to NCAA sanctions.

On the other hand, it's also possible that the NCAA will be forced to grant waivers to allow a, say, 6-6 Arizona State team with two FCS victories to play in a bowl game, rather than resorting to 5-7 teams to fill contracted bowl slots.

We shall see.

  • Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Oregon vs. BCS team

  • Rose Bowl Game: No Pac-10 team

  • Valero Alamo: Stanford vs. Big 12

  • Bridgepoint Education Holiday: Arizona vs. Big 12

  • Hyundai Sun: Washington vs. ACC

  • MAACO Las Vegas: Oregon State vs. Mountain West

  • Kraft Fight Hunger: California vs. WAC