Nine Pac-12 teams have made bowl games. That’s three quarters of Pac-12 schools in the post-season. That’s not a percentage to match the Big 12 in 2012 (nine of 10). But it does trump the SEC in 2013 (10 of 14, 71.4 percent).
Other bowl percentages this season: ACC 71.4 (10 of 14), Big 12 60 percent (six of 10) and Big Ten 58.3 percent (seven of 12).
But not all bowl appearances are created equal. Three of the Pac-12′s bowl teams will be finished before Santa makes it to Nova Scotia.
Two Pac-12 teams play Saturday, and another on Christmas Eve.
With a few exceptions, there are three calendar levels of bowls. Pre-Christmas, between Christmas and New Year’s, and January. The SEC, for example, has seven teams in January bowls.
Let’s get to the predictions for the pre-Christmas bowls:
New Mexico Bowl. Washington State vs. Colorado State: Cougars 28-23. WSU hasn’t been to a bowl since beating Texas 28-20 in the 2003 Holiday.
Las Vegas Bowl. Southern Cal vs. Fresno State: Bulldogs 28-26. Fresno State has the better quarterback, Derek Carr, and a functional coaching staff, led by Tim DeRuyter. Plus more motivation. This seems like an easy pick.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Buffalo vs. San Diego State: Aztecs 31-27. San Diego State coach Rocky Long was the 11-year head coach at New Mexico. His daughter, Roxanne, played basketball at OU for Sherri Coale and now is the women’s basketball coach at Rogers State in Claremore.
New Orleans Bowl. Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Tulane. Green Wave 20-17. Two Louisiana teams playing in Louisiana. Hard to see from where the excitement will come.
Beef O’Brady’s Bowl. Ohio U. vs. East Carolina: Pirates 34-20. Two coaches with extensive Big 12 ties. Ohio’s Frank Solich coached Nebraska six years, including in the 2001 national title game. East Carolina’s Ruffin McNeill was a Mike Leach assistant at Texas Tech, 2000-09, and Tech’s interim coach for the 2009 Alamo Bowl, after Leach was fired.
Hawaii Bowl. Oregon State vs. Boise State: Beavers 44-10. Neither team lived up to the standard of these upstart programs. Fifteen years ago, Oregon State was as beleaguered a program as college football had, and Boise State played small college football.
Last week: 5-9. Season: 511-168.