Jack Follman’s Preseason Pac-12 Bowl Projections

Posted on August 13, 2021

  By Jack Follman, SuperWest Sports

Pac-12What a weird couple of years it has been for bowls. The bowl landscape, the Playoff landscape, and COVID have completely changed things.

The Pac-12 bowl slate has also changed quite a bit the past couple of years.

While there hasn’t yet been an official announcement from the RedBox Bowl, many are speculating that it has been discontinued. If so, a Pac-12 team could also play in the First Responder Bowl, Armed Forces Bowl, or Gasparilla Bowl.

Regardless of what happens with the RedBox, I really like the new Pac-12 bowl slate heading into 2021.

I think there are a handful of good teams in the Conference that could represent, though the Pac-12 most likely misses the College Football Playoff again.

Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Penn State

January 1, ESPN, 5:00 pm
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Bowl Tie-Ins: Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Oregon Ducks Logo Pac-12I think the Ducks squeak out another Pac-12 championship, but aren’t a major CFP candidate.

No one can complain about going back to the Rose Bowl again and getting a beatable opponent with Ohio State in the CFP.

Essentially getting to three-straight NY6 bowls would be a huge accomplishment for Mario Cristobal and Company.

Alamo Bowl: Washington vs. Texas

December 29, ESPN, 9:15 pm
Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Bowl Tie-Ins: Big 12 vs. Pac-12

Washington football pac-12The Huskies are a very solid Pac-12 Champion candidate, especially with their schedule, but I just can’t pull the trigger.

I’m guessing they fall to the next slot in the conference, likely with the teams in the South beating each other up and messing up their records.

How fun would a Sark rematch with Washington be in his first season?

Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona State vs. Iowa

December 30, ESPN, 10:30 pm
Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Bowl Tie-Ins: Big Ten vs. Pac-12

I’m buying the building Arizona State hype—I like what Herm Edwards has done, and a lot of the pieces they have in their depth chart.

I think they win the South and land in either San Antonio or Vegas against a tough opponent with a chance to build some more momentum for the program going into 2022.

Holiday Bowl: USC vs. Miami

December 28, FOX, 8:00 pm
Petco Park, San Diego, CA
Bowl Tie-Ins: ACC vs. Pac-12

usc logoI don’t trust the Trojans. They weren’t that impressive in 2021 and lost almost all of their best proven players.

I think they slip out of winning the South and slide down to this SoCal bowl against an upper-middle ACC team.

Sun Bowl: Utah vs. Virginia Tech

Friday, December 31, CBS, 12:30 pm
Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, TX
Bowl Tie-Ins: ACC vs. Pac-12

I’m tempted to have the Utes win the South because I don’t think there’s a true favorite there, and I think the Utes are the kind of solid, proven program under Kyle Whittingham that can win the division when there isn’t a true favorite.

I think the Utes lack some of the firepower of the Sun Devils and end up in a lower bowl also against a mid-level ACC team.

Los Angeles Bowl: UCLA vs. Boise State

Saturday, December 18, ABC, 7:30 pm
SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
Bowl Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. Pac-12

Keep an eye on the Bruins in 2021 under Chip Kelly. I liked some things they flashed in 2020, and I think they at least make a bowl.

The hometown bowl looks like a great possibility right now, where they take on the perennial Mountain West champ in Boise State.

RedBox Bowl/TBD: Oregon State vs. Northwestern

Date, time & TV, TBD
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Bowl Tie-Ins: Big Ten vs. Pac-12

I also like where the Beavers are going under Jonathan Smith. I think they break through with a bowl game this year and maybe even climb the ladder a bit more.

This would be a great matchup for them to start proving themselves on another level.

—More from Jack Follman—