Updated Nov 1, 2011 - 8:03 am
How does San Antonio on December 29th sound?
That phrase shouldn't excite the fan base of any halfway decent college football program. Unless you haven't sniffed that phrase in three years.
The Arizona State Sun Devils reached bowl eligibility for the first time since 2007 with their 48-14 win over Colorado on Saturday night, meaning fans of the fork can start speculating on where they may be spending a few days during December or January if they choose to travel with the team.
How does the Alamo City strike you?
The Pac-12's top team still has an automatic bid to the Rose Bowl, even though the conference's invitation pecking order has changed for the 2011 season. Unless, of course, the Pac-12 champion qualifies for the BCS Championship Game.
I believe that will be the situation--Stanford will win its remaining four regular season games at Oregon State and home versus Oregon, California and Notre Dame, before beating Arizona State (sorry, Sun Devil fans) in the Pac- 12 Championship Game.
That will be enough to send the Cardinal to New Orleans to take on Alabama in the BCS Championship on January 9th.
The Rose Bowl will then take Oregon, who should finish with one conference loss (at Stanford on November 12th).
And that brings us to Arizona State, who will have the third Pac-12 bowl slot, which this year is the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio against the 3rd team from the Big 12. Please refrain from your jokes, there are still at least three teams that haven't bolted from the Big 12...yet.
The Sun Devils likely opponent, at this point, is the Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies, at least according to my projections, will be the fourth place team in the Big 12, but Oklahoma and Oklahoma State should both garner BCS bowl spots and Texas, the 3rd-place team, could be headed to the Cotton Bowl.
Here's what some nationwide experts have projected for ASU's postseason...
Jerry Palm, CBS Sports - vs. Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl
Mark Schlabach, ESPN - vs. Texas in Alamo Bowl
Brad Edwards, ESPN - vs. Texas A&M in Alamo Bowl
Erick Smith, USA Today - vs. Texas A&M in Alamo Bowl
Phil Steele, Philsteele.com - vs. Texas in Alamo Bowl
Scout.com - vs. Missouri in Alamo Bowl
And here's what I'm projecting for other Pac-12 teams...
BCS Championship Game - 1/9 @ New Orleans - Stanford vs. Alabama
Rose Bowl - 1/2 @ Pasadena, CA - Oregon vs. Nebraska
Sun Bowl - 12/31 @ El Paso, TX - Washington vs. Florida State
Holiday Bowl - 12/28 @ San Diego, CA - Utah vs. Baylor
MAACO Las Vegas Bowl - 12/22 @ Las Vegas, NV - California vs. TCU
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