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Las Vegas Bowl Week 12 projection: UCLA vs. Mississippi State

On Dec. 4, the participants for the 2022 Las Vegas Bowl will be revealed. The only scheduled postseason matchup between the Southeastern Conference and the Pac-12, the Las Vegas Bowl is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Allegiant Stadium.

Projection: No. 17 UCLA vs. Mississippi State

The SEC berth is fairly stable after Week 12. Three teams — No. 20 Mississippi, Mississippi State and South Carolina — are in strong contention for a Las Vegas Bowl bid. However, with Ole Miss facing coaching rumors and South Carolina hosting No. 7 Clemson, Mississippi State, which crushed Eastern Tennessee State 56-7 on Saturday, seems like the safest choice.

UCLA came up just short Saturday, losing to crosstown rival Southern California 48-45. The defeat drops the Bruins to 5-3 in the Pac-12, below the top tier of No. 5 USC, No. 10 Oregon, No. 12 Washington and No. 14 Utah.

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Luckily for Las Vegas Bowl officials, two of the teams they are watching will play each other during rivalry week.

The Ole Miss-Mississippi State Egg Bowl winner will cement its place as a favorite for the berth, especially if coach Lane Kiffin stays with the Rebels. However, keep an eye on South Carolina’s game against Clemson. If the Gamecocks can close out their season with two top-10 victories, they likely will leapfrog the Rebels and the Bulldogs in the Las Vegas Bowl’s preference.

In the Pac-12, the Las Vegas Bowl’s most important game is No. 22 Oregon State hosting Oregon. A Ducks win would lock up a meeting with USC for in the conference title game. That will help clarify the Las Vegas Bowl’s selection, though a Beavers win could make them viable candidates for a berth, too.

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

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