Bowl projections for the Pac-12’s top four teams, and where USC fits

The Pac-12’s top four teams have elevated themselves above the rest of the conference this season. Before the 2022 campaign began, it was widely felt that USC, Utah and Oregon were a cut above the rest, and that UCLA was probably the fourth-place team in the conference. UCLA has risen above expectations to join the Trojans, Utes and Ducks in a super-strong top four. These four teams — the two Los Angeles schools, Utah, and Oregon — are a combined 15-0 against the fifth-place through 12th-place teams in the conference.

Parity, which usually defines a Pac-12 Conference football season, is nowhere to be found. Oregon has a realistic shot at going 9-0 in the conference, which has not happened since 2010, when the Pac-12 hadn’t even existed yet. The league was still the Pac-10 when Chip Kelly guided Oregon to a perfect record and led the Ducks to the BCS National Championship Game against Auburn.

You probably want to know how the top four teams in the Pac-12 stack up against each other in terms of their current bowl projections, and you probably want to know where USC fits in the mix.

Jon Wilner of the Wilner Hotline is here to help:

Rose Bowl Team: Oregon (7-1/5-0)

Home games remaining (two): Washington, Utah Road games remaining (two): Colorado, Oregon State

No team has run the table in conference play since Oregon in 2010. These Ducks will be solid-to-heavy favorites in every game, at least until the conference championship.

Cotton Bowl Team: USC (7-1/5-1)

Home (three): Cal, Colorado, Notre Dame Road (one): UCLA Comment: It’s a two-game season for a shot at the title. Why two? Well, the Trojans must beat UCLA — we’re counting Cal and Colorado as victories — and they probably need Utah to lose again.

Alamo Bowl Team: Utah (6-2/4-1)

Home (two): Arizona, Stanford Road (two): Oregon, Colorado Comment: Our latest projections call for Utah to lose once (at Oregon) and for UCLA to lose twice (ASU and USC), which opens a path for the Utes into the Alamo. If the teams have the same number of losses, the Bruins might be invited because of their head-to-head win.

Holiday Bowl Team: UCLA (7-1/4-1) Home (two): Arizona, USC Road (two): Arizona State, Cal

News from the future: Immediately after announcing UCLA’s participation, bowl officials reveal they have renamed the game the Awkward Dance Bowl.


Lincoln Riley addresses numerous topics surrounding USC football

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire