The Pac-12 crowns a football champion this week, Oregon State gets to enjoy a December cupcake and then everyone waits for their bowl invites.
The Arizona Wildcats don’t play but their fans will have a keen interest in the performance of four ball-carriers around the country.
TWit-Pac’s TV schedule is oh-so-small (all times Arizona/Mountain):
|Fri Nov 30||UCLA||Stanford||6 p.m.||FOX|
|Sat Dec 1||Nicholls State||OSU||12:30 p.m.||P12N|
If you were told only one team from last year’s Pac-12 Championship Game would make it back this year, wouldn’t you have bet all the farms in the county on Oregon? Instead UCLA has returned and this time the Bruins are good enough to make it a game.
Stanford last played in the Rose Bowl after the 1999 season. UCLA’s most recent trip was after a 10-1 regular season in 1998.
(You remember that one loss, right? It was the Hurricane Georges/“everybody died” game. It always comes back to Arizona Football.)
The only reason for the Beavers to still play their game this week is to pretty up their record for the bowl people. Even so, it might not be enough. Read on…
Rose Bowl – Stanford (11-2 / 8-1)
The Cardinal had the motivation factor in winning last week’s game at UCLA and now they have the home-field advantage. I expect the game to be closer than last week but for Stanford to still pull it out.
Fiesta Bowl – Oregon (11-1 / 8-1)
Will this be Chip Kelly’s last game before heading to the NFL? Will he be able to handle coaching a team that wears the same helmets every week?
Alamo Bowl – UCLA (9-4 / 6-3)
Now the actual draft begins. I see the folks in San Antonio going after the Pac-12 South champion and the Los Angeles TV market.
Holiday Bowl – USC (7-5 / 5-4)
Upset! Oregon State is the best remaining team available but the Holiday Bowl has the option of taking a team one slot lower in the conference standings. Since USC has never played in this bowl and because of the star power of Marqise Lee and (potentially) Matt Barkley, I don’t think the powers that be in San Diego will be able to pass up the Southern California brand name.
Sun Bowl – OSU (9-3 / 6-3)
Yes, this is way too low for a nine-win team (especially since they may be playing a 6-6 ACC team) but that’s the peculiarity of the bowl system.
Las Vegas Bowl – Washington (7-5 / 5-4)
Both Arizona and Washington are pleading their case and I really, really, really wanted to put the Cats here. I do believe Boise State will be the Mountain West team. I do not think the Vegas Bowl wants to duplicate last year’s matchup with ASU. I know Washington opens with the Broncos next year but the following season’s schedule didn’t stop the Alamo Bowl from pairing Arizona and Oklahoma State in 2010 so I don’t think it will factor in the decision here. The Huskies have never played in Las Vegas so their fan base should jump at the chance to make this trip.
Fight Hunger – ASU (7-5 / 5-4)
Additional Territorial Cup spoils. Grumble grumble…
New Mexico – ARIZONA (7-5 / 4-5)
I tried. I just don’t see the Cats ending up higher than the bottom rung. The Sun Bowl was a real possibility until the UA lost the Territorial Cup. Vegas made a lot of sense except they could welcome a brand new set of fans instead. And since neither Arizona nor ASU is within (reasonable) driving distance to San Francisco and because neither team has played in the Hunger Game, I’m guessing they just go with the better conference record there.
See you in Albuquerque?
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No Wildcat game this week; no problem. Ka’Deem Carey is trying to win the UA’s first national rushing title in 57 years. Here is his competition:
|3||Le’Veon Bell||Michigan St.||12||350||1,648||4.7||11||137.3|
|5||Jordan Lynch||Northern Ill.||12||235||1,611||6.9||16||134.3|
|6||Antonio Andrews||Western Ky.||12||277||1,609||5.8||11||134.1|
Four of those players have a game this week. Here they are as well as the number of yards each needs to catch Carey. The first number is the amount of rushing yards needed to match Carey’s current total of 1,757. The second is the yardage number the player would have to hit this week to pass Carey’s per-game average. Remember, average yards per game is the official stat used to crown the rushing champ.
|Stefphon Jefferson||Nevada||Boise St.||193||193|
|Jordan Lynch||Northern Ill.||Kent St.||146||292|
Stefphon Jefferson is the only one with a realistic shot at catching Ka’Dream this week. Get out your Boise State pom-poms and root for the Bronco run defense.
Then we’ll see if the nation’s top two rushers settle it on the same field in the Land of Enchantment.
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