Who Wants to Go Bowlin?

The race for the Pac-10 title is officially on.  Four teams have a legitimate shot at ending up in Pasadena, and Oregon State is looming just outside knocking on the door. Oregon and Arizona have the luxury of knowing they win out, they end up all Roses.  That November 21st game in Tucson between the Ducks and the Cats will have some huge implications.  Everyone seems to be counting on USC, but the Trojans have been there before, and there is no way they will not be a factor heading down the home stretch. 

In a season with very little drama nation-wide in college football, the Pac-10 race is one of the best we've seen in a long time.  Enjoy it, Arizona fans.  It's been a long time since the Cats have been in the thick of a Rose Bowl race.

Check out the predictions for the rest of the Pac-10 season after the jump.

Pac-10 Standings

  1. Oregon - (5-1) 7-2
  2. Arizona - (4-1) 6-2
  3. Stanford - (5-2) 6-3
  4. USC - (4-2) 7-2
  5. Oregon St. - (4-2) 6-3
  6. Cal - (3-3) 6-3
  7. ASU - (2-4) 4-5
  8. Washington - (2-4) 3-6
  9. UCLA - (1-5) 4-5
  10. WSU - (0-6) 1-8

Pac-10 Bowl Tie-Ins

  1. Rose/BCS
  2. Holiday
  3. Sun
  4. Emerald
  5. Las Vegas
  6. Poinsettia

Oregon - (5-1) 7-2

Oregon is one of two teams in control of its Pac-10 destiny (Arizona is the other).  If the Ducks win out, they take the Pac-10 title and a trip to the Rose Bowl.  It sure seems like a long time ago the Ducks imploded on the Smurf Turf in Boise doesn't it?

Remaining schedule: ASU, @ Arizona, Oregon State

Two huge games remain for Oregon.  A tough road-test in Tucson, and the Civil War against the Beavers.  Last week's loss to Stanford should scare the Ducks straight.  This race is not over, and they cannot afford any more letdowns.

Predicted finish: Oregon beats ASU and Oregon State, and falls to Arizona in front of a frenzied Zona Zoo.  The Ducks finish at 7-2 in conference.

Final record: (7-2) 9-3

Bowl: Sun

Arizona - (4-1) 6-2

Arizona also controls its own destiny, albeit with a much more difficult schedule down the stretch. Three tough road games at Cal, ASU, and USC, with the biggest home game in the last decade, versus Oregon sandwiched in there.

Remaining schedule: @ Cal, Oregon, @ ASU, @ USC

Predicted finish: Arizona takes three of four against Cal, Oregon, and ASU to set up a de facto Pac-10 Championship Game in Los Angeles.  USC is not what they have been in the past, but a December visit to the Coliseum could prove too tough for Stoops' boys.  As hard as it is to type this, I think Arizona falls short against the Trojans.  This year. [Editors note: PLEASE prove me wrong Arizona. Go Cats!]

Final record: (7-2) 9-3

Bowl: Holiday

Stanford - (5-2) 6-3

The Cardinal are officially a factor, in case anyone had not noticed.  Jim Harbaugh has completely rivatalized a dormant Cardinal program.

Remaining schedule: @ USC, Cal, Notre Dame

Predicted finish: Stanford wins two of three, dropping a tough game to the Trojans.

Final record: (6-3) 8-4

Bowl: Emerald (in a switch with the Las Vegas bowl over geography)

USC - (4-2) 7-2

Clearly USC is having a 2009 season that is not up to the Pete Carrol-era standards.  Regardless, they are not out of the race, and can still make a run at this thing. USC has a desirable closing schedule, with three home games.

Remaining schedule: Stanford, UCLA, Arizona.

Predicted finish:Three straight victories.

Final record:(7-2) 10-2

Bowl: Rose (in a three-way tie-breaker with Arizona and Oregon by virtue of a likely higher BCS ranking)

Oregon State - (4-2) 6-3

The Beavers have once again overcome a putrid start to make themselves a player in the Pac-10 race.

Remaining schedule: Washington, @ Washington State, @ Oregon

Predicted finish: Win two out of three, including a tough loss in the Civil War at Eugene.

Final record:(6-3) 8-4

Bowl: Las Vegas (swaps with Stanford)

Cal - (3-3) 6-3

Cal is at a cross-roads after losing Jahvid Best last week.  Tedford's teams have underachieved the past few years, and this year is no different.  At one point, this was a top-5 team with eyes on a national championship or a Rose Bowl.  Now, a trip to Vegas seems questionable.

Remaining schedule: Arizona, @ Stanford, @ Washington

Predicted finish: Cal drops two games to Arizona and Stanford, before sneaking out of Seattle with a bowl game-saving win.

Final record:(4-5) 7-5

Bowl: Poinsettia

ASU - (2-4) 4-5

Tough times have fallen on Sparky-Land.  Don't look for any sympathy here Sun Devils.  You reap what you sow, and Dennis Erickson has turned that program into an absolute mess.  The one silver-lining has been Vontaze Burfict living up to the hype.

Remaining schedule:@ Oregon, @ UCLA, Arizona

Predicted finish: Three straight losses to conclude an awful season.

Final record: (2-7) 4-8

Bowl: None

Washington - (2-4) 3-6

Washington enjoyed a promising start to the Steve Sarkisian era.  After a few impressive games, however, the team suffered from what it lacks the most. Talent.  I would not sleep on UW for long though.  Sarkisian knows what he is doing.  Some big recruiting classes are sure to come.

Remaining schedule: @ Oregon State, Washington State, Cal

Predicted finish: One victory over Washington State in the Rotten Apple Cup.

Final record: (3-6) 4-8

Bowl: None

UCLA - (1-5) 4-5

Slick Rick didn't have enough magic this year.  No amount of acoustic guitar and USC-hating billboards was going to bring this Bruin team any success this year.  The win at Tennessee could have been a program-changer.  Instead, the Bruins have stumbled the rest of the way.

Remaining schedule: @ Washington State, ASU, @ USC

Predicted finish: Two out of three victories over WSU and ASU make the Bruins bowl-eligible, with no bowl to attend.

Final record: (3-6) 6-6

Bowl: None

Washington State - (0-6) 1-8

Rough times in the Palouse.  The Cougars have a lonnnng way to go to get back to respectability.

Remaining schedule: UCLA, Oregon State, @ Washington

Predicted finish: Three straight defeats.  Awful 2009.

Final record:(0-9) 1-11

Bowl: None

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