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College Hotline - Pac-12 football: 2016 bowl projections

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    I’ve been skeptical about the Pac-12’s prospects for reaching the College Football Playoff in 2016, but only recently did the reason for that skepticism crystallize in my cranium.

    To slot a Pac-12 team into the CFP requires a leap of faith.

    It requires a leap of faith that one of the league’s three blueblood programs of the past decade (USC, Oregon and Stanford) will solve its quarterback problems at a level compatible with building a playoff-caliber resume.

    Or it requires a leap of faith that one of the league’s up-and-comers (UCLA, Washington and Washington State) will manage expectations, handle success and reach a level of sustained excellence its hasn’t attained in eons.

    The teams with the success in their DNA don’t have proven quarterbacks, and the teams with quarterbacks don’t have success in their DNA.

    I’m not willing to make the leap, not with the nine-game league schedules and the non-conference challenges.

    Assignments based on my projected order of finish.

    Here we go …

    Rose Bowl: Washington
    Comment: Winner of the North, victor in the conference title game but denied a semifinal berth because of multiple losses.

    Orange Bowl: Stanford
    Comment: The two-loss North runner up is ranked high enough in the final standings to qualify for the New Year’s Six. And because the Fiesta is a semifinal, the Pac-12’s at-large entry must travel to distant shores.

    Alamo Bowl: UCLA
    Comment: The South champ/title game loser returns to San Antonio two years after an entertaining win over Kansas State.

    Holiday Bowl: Oregon
    Comment: An easy call if Ducks are available. Their last trip to the Holiday was 2008, before the program’s transformation.

    Foster Farms: USC
    Comment: Play the toughest schedule in creation, end up in the Chicken Bowl.

    Sun Bowl: Utah
    Comment: Elated they don’t have to invite USC — I know it was only four years ago, but they have long memories in El Paso — Sun officials send candygrams to the Utes.

    Las Vegas Bowl: Washington State
    Comment: Bowl shuns Cal in favor of WSU based on premise that everyone in Pullman will want to leave Pullman for Sin City in mid-December.

    Cactus Bowl: Cal
    Comment: Conference selection procedure requires bottom four bowls to pick teams in order of record. I’ve got Cal finishing one game ahead of the Wildcats.

    At-large: Arizona
    Comment: With only seven affiliations, Pac-12 could have multiple at-large teams. Shreveport, here come the Cats (again)?

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    by Jon Wilner

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