Big changes in the Idaho Statesman bowl projections this week based on what has happened in the Big 12 and Pac-12.
With the Pac-12 likely limited to one team in the New Year’s Six bowls, the conference should have at least one and possibly as many as three extra bowl-eligible teams. One of them — Arizona — is placed in the Armed Forces Bowl to fill the Big Ten’s spot. Also, with Washington State beating UCLA, there’s a better chance of UCLA landing in the Las Vegas Bowl. If that happens, BYU will go to Hawaii because the Cougars already played the Bruins this season. Another possible rematch issue would be San Diego State-California.
As for the Big 12, it now has three teams in the New Year’s Six. If the conference gets two in the New Year’s Six, the Cactus Bowl likely will have a spot for the Mountain West. The Cactus selects after the Las Vegas Bowl. If Kansas State or Texas get bowl eligible, the Cactus spot might get filled by the Big 12 even with two NY6 bids.
Our Boise State projection: The Broncos (7-3) vs. Cal (6-4) and star QB Jared Goff in the Cactus Bowl on Jan. 2 in Phoenix. But if the Broncos win the Mountain West and UCLA is in Las Vegas, that spot likely would go to the Broncos.
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New Year’s Six projections
Cotton, semifinal (Dec. 31, Arlington, Texas): No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Oklahoma State
Orange, semifinal (Dec. 31, Miami Gardens, Fla.): No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Ohio State
Rose (Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.): Stanford (Pac-12) vs. Iowa (Big Ten)
Sugar (Jan. 1, New Orleans): Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. Florida (SEC)
Peach (Dec. 31, Atlanta): Navy (Group of Five) vs. Baylor (at-large)
Fiesta (Jan. 1, Glendale, Ariz.): Notre Dame (at-large) vs. Michigan State (at-large)
Mountain West projections
Las Vegas (Dec. 19, Las Vegas): San Diego State (MW/BYU) vs. UCLA (Pac-12)
Cactus (Jan. 2, Phoenix): Boise State (Big 12/MW) vs. California (Pac-12/MW)
Armed Forces (Dec. 29, Fort Worth, Texas): Utah State (MW) vs. Arizona (Big Ten/at-large)
Hawaii (Dec. 24, Honolulu): BYU (MW/BYU) vs. Temple (AAC)
Famous Idaho Potato (Dec. 22, Boise): Colorado State (MW) vs. Central Michigan (MAC)
New Mexico (Dec. 19, Albuquerque): New Mexico (MW) vs. Rice (C-USA)
Poinsettia (Dec. 23, San Diego): Air Force (MW) vs. Bowling Green (MAC)
Arizona (Dec. 29, Tucson, Ariz.): Nevada (MW) vs. Middle Tennessee (C-USA)