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Pac-12 Notebook: Some bowl eligible teams may stay home

The SportsXchange

Washington State and Oregon State are both bowl eligible, but that is no guarantee those schools will be in the postseason.

The Cougars and Beavers each closed out the regular season on Friday with a loss in their rivalry game to finish the season at 6-6. That is enough wins to play in a bowl game, but there may not be enough spots for those two teams.

The Pac-12 has nine teams at .500 or above to qualify for a bowl game, but only seven bowl agreements. Oregon State and Washington State are tied for seventh place overall with Arizona and seem like the odd teams out of the bowl picture, although those two schools could find an open spot in a bowl game affiliated with other conferences.

The big winner during the weekend was Arizona State, which defeated Arizona 58-21 on Saturday to secure home-field advantage in the Pac-12 championship game on Saturday. The 11th-ranked Sun Devils will host No. 7 Stanford with a berth in the Rose Bowl on the line.

It appears the conference will have only one team qualify for a BCS game, so the rest of the teams will find out their bowl destinations after the conference champion is determined.

Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona State all finished 7-2 in conference play while UCLA and USC were 6-3. Washington went 5-4 while Arizona, Washington State and Oregon State finished 4-5.

FIVE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS FROM WEEK 14 IN THE PAC-12:

1. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is finally getting healthy. Mariota was averaging more than 10 yards per rush and 60 yards per game on the ground through eight games before he suffered a knee injury that forced him to wear a brace. Mariota had negative rushing yards in two straight games, but had 53 rushing yards on seven carries against Oregon State.

2. Steve Sarkisian needed to win the Apple Cup. Washington was upset by its rival last year and a repeat performance would have put the Huskies at 7-5 for the fourth straight season, but instead the Huskies won eight games for the first time in a dozen years.

3. Oregon's run defense is becoming a concern. In three of the last four weeks, Oregon's opponent has run for at least 230 yards and also had a runner go over 145 yards. The Ducks lost two of those games.

4. Oregon State found its running game way too late in the season. The Beavers averaged 72.8 rushing yards in their first 11 games but ran for 231 against Oregon. Terron Ward had a season-high 145 yards and Storm Woods added a season-high 73 rushing yards against the Ducks.

5. Stanford salvaged some respect for the Pac-12 with a win over Notre Dame. The Irish earlier this season beat two of the Pac-12's top teams, Arizona State and USC, before Stanford made sure the conference avoided being swept by Notre Dame.
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