Here’s how a USC win Friday could help rival UCLA reach best bowl game

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UCLA followers watching the Pac-12 Conference championship soccer game Friday is likely to be tempted to utter two appalling phrases: battle on.

A USC victory over Utah at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas would improve the Bruins’ possibilities of being chosen for the Alamo Bowl, the best doable postseason final result for a staff that completed in a tie for fifth place within the Pac-12 alongside Oregon State.

That situation would take some leapfrogging, and a lot of fortuitous falling of dominoes between Friday and bowl choice bulletins Sunday afternoon. Derrick Fox, president and chief government officer of the Alamo Bowl, advised The Times on Tuesday that the Bruins (9-3 total, 6-3 Pac-12) remained in play for the Pac-12’s high comfort prize after the College Football Playoff and the Rose Bowl.

“UCLA is certainly engaging,” stated Fox, who wasn’t simply being well mannered provided that he knew the Bruins’ offense averaged 40 factors per game and that working Zach Charbonnet led the nation in all-purpose yardage. “So clearly, a staff that has been dynamic and does a lot offensively and enjoyable to observe.”

UCLA spending Dec. 29 in San Antonio to face a Big 12 staff doubtless entails USC profitable Friday in Las Vegas. If the Trojans end 12-1 and are chosen for the CFP, the Rose Bowl will get its choose of remaining Pac-12 groups and would take Washington, Utah or Oregon, which completed in a three-way tie for second within the convention standings.

It’s necessary to notice that the Rose Bowl wouldn’t be obligated to take runner-up Utah. In 2016, when Washington defeated Colorado within the Pac-12 title game on the way in which to the CFP, the Rose Bowl bypassed the runner-up Buffaloes in favor of USC.

Even if USC misplaced to Utah and the Utes went to the Rose Bowl, there’s a likelihood the Trojans can be chosen for one more New Year’s Six bowl. If USC fell to the pool of groups accessible for the Alamo Bowl, that might remove UCLA from consideration provided that the Alamo Bowl can’t take any staff a couple of game behind the highest accessible candidates within the convention standings, and the Trojans completed two video games above the Bruins.

In one doubtless situation — USC going to the CFP and Washington to the Rose Bowl based mostly on a 10-2 report that features fewer losses than Utah or Oregon — the Alamo Bowl can be left to choose between Utah, Oregon, UCLA and Oregon State. Oregon went to the Alamo Bowl final season, doubtless eradicating the Ducks from consideration provided that bowls hardly ever take the identical staff two years in a row.

Fox stated the Alamo Bowl prioritizes a staff’s report, matchup attraction with the opponent, frequency of appearances on the game and probability of bringing a massive contingent of followers. UCLA final performed on the Alamo Bowl in January 2015, beating Kansas State.

The case for UCLA facilities on the Bruins’ high-powered offense plus its having crushed Utah handily in October. Yet the Utes would have the cachet of being the Pac-12 runner up along with a fan base that historically travels higher than UCLA’s boosters. History could may additionally be on Utah’s aspect provided that within the 2016 bowl situation that could be like this yr’s, the Alamo Bowl picked convention runner-up Colorado.

Oregon State, a potential darkhorse candidate, could tout itself as having the strongest end, capping a three-game profitable streak with an upset of rival Oregon.

“All data aren’t essentially the identical,” Fox stated. “They could also be numerically, however how you get there issues too.”

If the Bruins aren’t chosen for the Alamo Bowl, they might doubtless drop to both the Las Vegas Bowl or the Sun Bowl. The Holiday Bowl will get the following choose after the Alamo Bowl however most likely doesn’t need UCLA given it selected the Bruins final season just for the staff to again out of its game in opposition to North Carolina State hours earlier than kickoff over COVID-19 considerations.

UCLA could be a beautiful possibility for the Las Vegas Bowl provided that it’s staged within the hometown of Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who stated he can be much less more likely to choose out of a bowl game if he could full his faculty profession in entrance of so many family and friends. The Action Network at the moment initiatives Oregon State to face Ole Miss within the Las Vegas Bowl, with UCLA taking part in Duke within the Sun Bowl.

Known participant opt-outs don’t essentially dissuade bowls from taking groups; Fox famous that Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux had introduced he wouldn’t play within the postseason earlier than the Alamo Bowl picked the Ducks to face Oklahoma final yr.

Fox stated the Alamo Bowl choice committee would have solely about quarter-hour to make its choose after studying which Pac-12 groups can be found, resulting in plenty of what he known as “scenario-ing” earlier than the formal announcement round 1:30 p.m. PST Sunday.

“This is sort of a distinctive yr in that you just’ve received actually six groups which might be 6-3 or higher in convention,” Fox stated, “in order that’s actually a large yr and actually Oregon State and UCLA don’t come into the combo except USC is off the desk, if that is smart, on the one-game differential.”

That leaves the Bruins and Beavers united Friday. Fight on.

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