It’s conference championship week, which means bowl season is on the horizon.
Projection: Utah vs. Maryland
Utah took care of business in its final Pac-12 game, beating Colorado 23-17 to win the “Rumble in the Rockies.” It was an important win for the Utes. They had dropped two consecutive games entering their regular-season finale.
Washington, No. 3 in the AP poll, and No. 5 Oregon seem destined to make New Year’s Six bowls regardless of who wins the Pac-12 championship game at Allegiant Stadium on Friday. No. 14 Arizona is in the slot for the Alamo Bowl. No. 21 Oregon State played in the 2022 Las Vegas Bowl, making them an unlikely candidate for the game this season.
The Big Ten West refused to make things clear for the Las Vegas Bowl. Nebraska and Illinois finished 5-7 and aren’t bowl eligible. Wisconsin was the most recent Big Ten participant in the Las Vegas Bowl, ruling them out. Maryland finished fourth in the Big Ten East and seems a decent bet to make the trip west.
Maryland’s not the only choice, however. Northwestern won its final three games to clinch bowl eligibility. No. 18 Iowa could also become available for the Las Vegas Bowl if No. 10 Penn State misses out on a New Year’s Six bowl and settles for the Citrus Bowl.