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Could the Heisman Trophy winner be headed to the Las Vegas Bowl?

Updated November 13, 2023 - 9:48 pm

A Pac-12 powerhouse is falling into the Las Vegas Bowl’s window after Week 11, while the Big Ten West continues to amaze in its own special way.

Projection: Southern California vs. Illinois

USC was dealt its second consecutive loss and fourth in five games, falling to No. 6 Oregon 36-27. The Trojans and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Caleb Williams have a tricky rivalry game against UCLA remaining, but are right in the mix for a Las Vegas Bowl bid.

While USC tries to right the ship, the Pac-12 game with the most Las Vegas Bowl intrigue will be No. 16 Utah’s trip south to play No. 19 Arizona. The Trojans, Utes and Wildcats remain the most likely candidates for a trip to Las Vegas in December.

The Big Ten West is making things more — or less — interesting depending on the perspective. Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois, Nebraska and Wisconsin have identical 5-5, 3-4 records, one win sort of bowl eligibility.

Illinois seems to be trending up at the right time. It has won three of its past four games and this week faces Iowa, the only Big Ten West team to achieve bowl eligibility. Bowl eligibility for the Illini and another loss for the Hawkeyes put both firmly in the Las Vegas Bowl’s selection window.

An earlier version of this story had the incorrect opposition for Utah. The Utes will be playing Arizona.

Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at ayamashita@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ANYamashita on X.

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