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Post–Week 13 bowl projections: Down to two options, but puzzling decisions in all of them

THE BEARS ARE BOWL-ELIGIBLE. But where are we going?

Rice Bowl Restaurant Lompoc California Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

With the California Golden Bears vanquishing the evil in the 122nd Big Game, we’ve secured our sixth win and have earned bowl eligibility! Let’s take a closer look at where the prognosticators are placing us.

Here is the selection order for the Pac-12:

1. College Football Playoff Semifinal: If Selected

2. Rose Bowl vs. Big Ten

3. Valero Alamo Bowl vs. Big 12

4. San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs. Big Ten

5. Redbox Bowl vs. Big Ten

6. Hyundai Sun Bowl vs. ACC

7. Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl vs. Mountain West

8. Cheez-It Bowl vs. Big 12

Unless we see upsets in the ColoradoUtah or the Oregon StateOregon, games, the Pac-12 will have seven bowl-eligible teams. If a Pac-12 team can make the playoffs (which is basically only possible for the Utes at this point), then the Cheez-It Bowl would become an at-large bid for a non-Pac-12 team.

Here’s the breakdown of Pac-12 bowl predictions:

Post–Week 13 Pac-12 bowl projections

CFP/Cotton Utah (Cotton) Utah (CFP)
Rose Utah Oregon Oregon Utah
Alamo Oregon USC USC Oregon
Holiday USC Arizona State Arizona State USC
Redbox Washington State Washington California California
Sun Washington Washington State Washington Washington State
Las Vegas California California Washington State Washington
Cheez-It Arizona State Arizona State

247 Sports and CBS Sports are both sending us to the Las Vegas Bowl against the Boise State Broncos. The Broncos are champions of the Mountain Division of the Mountain West, ranked in the Top 25, and are 10–1 overall (with their lone loss on the road against the BYU Cougars)—they’ll be a tough match-up for us. Coaches Justin Wilcox, Gerald Alexander, and Andrew Browning all spent time there as a coach and players. Note that in the above table, 247 Sports doesn’t have the Arizona State Sun Devils listed... because of an oversight or omission? I have no idea why considering the fact they already have six wins. (The article has since been updated to keep ASU local in the Cheez-It Bowl.)

A major flaw in both of these predictions is having both Washington schools over California—despite our victories over both teams. Worst-case scenario—Cal loses to UC L.A. next week and ends with six wins, which would justify the seven-win victor of the Apple Cup being picked before us, but it would be a disappointment to see the Apple Cup loser picked over us despite both teams having identical overall and conference records and with Cal holding the head-to-head victory.

ESPN’s two predictions both have California getting selected earlier—by the Redbox Bowl to face the Indiana Hoosiers (7–4, 4–4 Big Ten). Kudos to ESPN for actually getting all of the seven Pac-12 teams likely to go bowling this year, though I’m not sure why Schlabach thinks ASU (which is favored in the Territorial Cup over the Arizona Wildcats to pick up its seventh win) will fall all the way to the Cheez-It Bowl.

I’m not going to pretend to know how to predict the College Football Playoff, but I think ESPN’s Bonagura made the prediction that’s most likely to come true. Utah and Oregon are a toss-up for first and second, then 8–4 USC (which could have added media attention pending Clay Helton’s status), followed by ASU (which has been feisty all year with some good wins). I could see the Redbox Bowl picking the Bears over the Apple Cup victor to nab some local fans, leaving the two teams from the terrible state of Washington to the final two bowls.


Which post–Week 13 bowl projection do you most want to come true for California?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State
    (167 votes)
  • 71%
    Redbox Bowl against Indiana
    (416 votes)
583 votes total Vote Now