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Pac-12 Bowl Game Preview: Rose, Alamo, Holiday, Cactus, Armed Forces and more!

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How do you think the conference will perform?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After a weekend filled with holiday cheer and office parties across the nation, let's take a look at the Pac-12 bowl match-ups as the college football post-season begins!

12/19: The New Mexico Bowl- Arizona vs New Mexico

Outside of the amazing feat that New Mexico actually has a bowl named after itself, the match-up doesn't exactly beg for attention. Arizona participated in the Pac-12 championship a season ago and Rich Rod will have his hands full trying to rally his troops for this game. New Mexico is coming off a dark horse season in which they won seven games and they find themselves eager to finish the year on a positive note.

Fortuitously Fearless Prediction:

New Mexico, playing the role of the underdog once again, wins in front of a home crowd and walks away with a victory.

12/19: The Las Vegas Bowl- BYU vs Utah

Later in the day, Utah and BYU meet in the Las Vegas bowl which should bring a bit more excitement along with it. Utah had an incredible start to their season as they climbed their way into the playoff picture. However they faltered late and missed a good chance to make it into the Pac-12 title game. BYU endured a promising season with a couple of close losses and moves forward without their head coach Bronco Mendenhall. It will be interesting to see how the team responds and if they can challenge Utah.

Fortuitously Fearless Prediction:

Utah holds on for a close win in one of the most intriguing match-ups of the early Pac-12 bowls.

12/26: The Sun Bowl- Miami vs Washington State

Washington State really embodied the "tale of two seasons" mantra this year. After losing to an FCS team early, Mike Leach's team went on to beat Oregon, nearly upset Stanford and have one of the best seasons in recent years. They face a lowly Miami team who had to replace their coach midseason and is most likely looking forward to the Mark Richt.

Fortuitously Fearless Prediction:

Washington State wins handily, helping propel the Cougs to a nine win season.

12/26: The Heart of Dallas Bowl- Southern Miss vs Washington

In another peculiarly titled bowl game, the Huskies head to the midwest to take on Southern Miss. Washington played above expectations all year long led by a stellar defense and promising freshman Jake Browning. Chris Petersen signed an extension after beating Washington State in the final game of the year to clinch bowl eligibility. Southern Miss won nine games this year but none against power five teams.

Fortuitously Fearless Prediction:

Washington wins easily and builds upon an impressive first season for Browning.

12/26: The Foster Farms Bowl- UCLA vs Nebraska

Mike Riley returns to the west coast to try and steal a bowl victory despite not having a winning season during his debut. Nebraska is a team whose fans travel well and the players stand in good academic position which helped them secure a bowl game despite not getting six wins. As for their season, it can be summed up in one sentence: close games. Nebraska lost many a heartbreaker in Mike Riley's first season as head coach and many Nebraska fans were left yearning for the days of Pelini. UCLA on the other hand failed to make the jump almost everyone expected of them and are left playing in yet another pre-new year bowl game. Jim Mora will start to feel the heat of rising expectations, but certainly has found a future in Josh Rosen.

Fortuitously Fearless Prediction:

UCLA easily takes down a Nebraska team that will focus their attention on next year and building a solid recruiting class.

12/29: The Armed Forces Bowl- Air Force vs Cal

What hasn't been said about Cal thus far this season. They started the season 5-0, nearly beat Utah in a college game-day showdown to then plummet out of the Pac-12 north title race during the month of October. The season finished on a high note with a comeback win over ASU at home and was promptly followed by coaching drama everyday after. Air Force comes in after a successful season in the Mountain West, losing to San Diego State by three in the championship game. Cal has to come into this game feeling good as they beat San Diego State easily earlier in the year and are eager to put an eight win year in the record books

Incredibly biased, yet bold(ish) prediction:

Cal wins by ten. The game will be closer than many expect and Cal will face another come from behind victory for their first bowl win under coach Dykes.

12/30: The Holiday Bowl- USC vs Wisconsin

Bucky and his red friends from the midwest descend on San Diego for a late holiday season showdown. USC represented the Pac-12 south in the championship game and showed a lot of resolve under new coach Clay Helton. They had Stanford on the ropes until McCaffery did his usual magician-ship and put the game out of reach. For many schools, a nine win season is considered a big success. However for Wisconsin, that is not the case. In a season in which they played a very favorable schedule, Wisconsin underperformed. This game will feature a lot of big time athletes and showcase some of the better talent in each conference.

Fortuitously Fearless Prediction:

USC wins on the back of a strong performance from Cody Kessler. This will be one of the must see games and it should come right down to the wire.

1/1: The Rose Bowl- Stanford vs Iowa

For those of you who want an early preview of what this game will be like, re-watch the Big Ten championship game when Iowa took on Michigan State. Stanford rolls in with heisman snub Christian McCaffrey ready to showcase his next level speed and vision. Interestingly enough, Stanford's defense was quite poor this season and the final score will reflect that. Iowa comes into this game after narrowly missing their chance in the college football playoff. Despite that, expect the Iowa contingency in southern California to be quite strong.

Fortuitously Fearless Prediction:

Stanford takes home another Rose Bowl trophy and leaves us to collectively groan. Iowa will play them hard but at the end of the day there will be too much McCaffrey to handle.

1/2: The Alamo Bowl- Oregon vs TCU

If you like offense, this is going to be a game you cannot miss. Oregon has looked elite in the last few games with Vernon Adams back and narrowly missed a spot in the Pac-12 championship. The offense has been clicking on all cylinders and Royce Freeman has been tearing it up on the ground. TCU started the season 8-0 until they were handled by Oklahoma State. They would suffer a narrow loss against Oklahoma, as the only other blemish on an otherwise perfect season.

Fortuitously Fearless Prediction:

I have a hard time not picking Oregon here as they have looked incredibly impressive down the stretch. I would venture to bet the over in this game as these two offenses square off.

1/2: The Cactus Bowl- West Virginia vs Arizona State

Last, however certainly not least, we have the Cactus bowl which is another home game for Arizona State. The Sun Devil's clinched bowl eligibility against their in state rivals Arizona only to lose on the road the week after against Cal. The Sun Devil's run a do or die style of defense that can either cause havoc for opponents or leave themselves vulnerable against big plays. The Mountaineers come into this matchup with a lot of uncertainty surrounding their head coach. They have not achieved the level of success they expect on the football field winning only seven games and losing to almost every rival. They played many close games and had lady fortuned smiled upon them a bit more, they might have found themselves in a bigger game come holiday season.

Fortuitously Fearless Prediction:

West Virginia beats ASU despite the home field advantage for the Sun Devils.

All in all, there are plenty of great upcoming match-ups this bowl season and various occasions to see Pac-12 football. Cal fans who do you like in the Pac-12 bowl games? What do you think our conference record will be when it's said and done?