Now we have a conference champion, but there are still two Pac-10 games to be played and they have serious implications as to the rest of the bowls.
Oregon State and Stanford are currently tied for second in the conference at 6-3. The winner of the Zona-SC game will also be 6-3, and if Cal beats UW they will also be 6-3. If Cal wins, the loser of the Zona SC game will end up in sixth place in the conference, despite a 5-4 conference record and at least seven wins (eight if it's SC).
If Washington beats Cal, they will end up with a better conference record than UCLA, who is bowl eligible because of their three non-conference wins over San Diego State, Tennessee, and Kansas State (combined record - 17-19). If that happens, no way UCLA - a borderline bowl team anyway - deserves a bid. Personally, I don't believe a .500 team should be in a bowl anyway, but it's not my call.
Time - Game - Channel
12:30 - #29 Arizona @ #20 USC - ABC
3:30 - #19 California @ Washington - Fox Sports NW
Noon - New Mexico State @ #6 Boise State - ESPN360.com
(All Rankings are AP.)
I'll Be Watching: Well, both games of course. Ideally the Cal-UW game would be starting at 4 because I'm sure the other game will be more than three hours, but I can live with this. I'm glad my teams are in major conferences where all the games are on regular TV - ESPN360.com is a nice option to have, but if I were a Boise State fan I'd have to watch at least half of their games that way. The ability is nice, but it's not the same as a TV.
Predictions: If the game were in Arizona I'd pick them, even though they have struggled to finish games the past two weeks. They should have polished off Oregon earlier - they let UO back into that game - and they beat ASU on a gift turnover in the final minutes. SC is down, but they'll still probably win. Unfortunately for Oregon State and everyone else, that means they'll finish 6-3 in the conference and the Holiday Bowl won't be able to get the invitation out fast enough (reportedly the Holiday will take the winner of Zona-SC regardless - we shall see). Come Monday I'm going to look at the final standings and apply the Rose Bowl tiebreaker equations to the rest of the standings and see who SHOULD be going to the Holiday Bowl, Sun Bowl, Emerald Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, and Poinsettia Bowl. SC will go because of money, but I think Oregon State will make the best matchup versus Nebraska (when they lose to Texas this weekend)...Has any team in the nation been more up and down than Cal this year? Right now they are trending upwards, but I think the Huskies still have some fight in them - I'm taking Washington...And, um, Boise State? Yeah, like they lose...