Rivalry week shook up college football on Saturday, but the Dec. 17 Las Vegas Bowl’s outlook seems fairly stable just one week before the matchup is announced Dec. 4.
Projection: No. 16 Oregon State vs. No. 25 Mississippi State
The Las Vegas Bowl’s selection is fairly set on the Southeastern Conference side. Mississippi State’s 24-22 Egg Bowl win against Ole Miss makes them the favorites for a Las Vegas Bowl bid, especially since No. 20 South Carolina might have played itself out of the selection window by beating No. 10 Clemson.
On the Pac-12 side, the Las Vegas Bowl’s choice will come down to Oregon State and No. 17 UCLA. The Bruins boast former Las Vegas prep star Dorian Thompson-Robinson, however, he may sit out of the team’s bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft. His uncertain status, coupled with UCLA’s poor attendance, gives the Beavers the edge.
The only games this week to watch are the two championship games. There’s still a slight chance No. 11 LSU falls into the Las Vegas Bowl window with a loss to No. 1 Georgia in the SEC championship game, especially after the Tigers’ surprising 38-23 loss to unranked Texas A&M Saturday.
The Pac-12 championship game — played at Allegiant Stadium — will mainly finalize bowl seeding. A No. 4 USC win gives the Trojans a shot at the College Football Playoff, possibly bumps No. 9 Washington into the Rose Bowl and solidifies No. 12 Utah and No. 15 Oregon above the Las Vegas Bowl’s selection window. A Utes win makes everything chaotic, potentially making the Ducks available for the Las Vegas Bowl.