Bold Pac-12 Bowl Predictions

Darren Perkins Editorials

Bowl season is here and below are my straight up predictions for all the games except for one — that’s right, the Fiesta Bowl. I am so uninterested in this game that I literally just yawned as I typed “Fiesta Bowl.” Even Mr. FishDuck had some words about the bowl as he was having fun on a brand new independent casino site recently.

Of note, the matchup is not the fault of the Fiesta Bowl. The College Football Playoff committee sets up the New Year’s Six matchups and it was the Fiesta Bowl’s turn to host the highest-rated Group of 5 team. In other words, it was their turn to take the least desirable team that qualified for an NY6, as none of the NY6 Bowls want the Group of 5 team.

Oregon was appointed due to its proximity to Phoenix.

LA Bowl: UCLA vs. Boise State
Kickoff: Dec. 16 at 4:30 p.m. (ABC)
Pick: Boise State

No way UCLA wins this game as it is not the UCLA version of Chip Kelly thing to do. They will be without their best player, as edge rusher Laiatu Latu has opted out, and their quarterback play is not good. Ending the season on a four-game winning streak, Boise State will be motivated to beat a “B1G team” and has rallied around midseason coaching replacement Spencer Danielson.

This game will have the feel of when the Ducks lost to Boise State in the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl after Willie Taggart bolted.

Independence Bowl: Cal vs. Texas Tech
Kickoff: Dec. 16 at 6:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Pick: Cal

Cal found a quarterback in Fernando Mendoza, ended the season with momentum, and will look to carry that into next season. And, oh yeah, Texas Tech is not very good.

Red Raiders will go 0-2 against the Pac-12 this year. (Photo by Texas Tech Athletic Department)

Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. Northwestern
Kickoff: Dec. 23 at 4:30 p.m. (ABC)
Pick: Northwestern

Utah is just too decimated with injuries. Northwestern rallied around “interim” coach David Braun who only went on to win B1G coach of the year. Momentum favors the Wildcats.

Holiday Bowl: USC vs. Louisville
Kickoff: Dec. 27 at 5 p.m. (Fox)
Pick: USC

As much as it pains me to pick the Trojans, Louisville looked inept in the ACC championship game and USC will be playing with motivation to hit the ground running next year with new starter Miller Moss as Caleb Williams preps for the NFL.

Alamo Bowl: Arizona vs. Oklahoma
Kickoff: Dec. 28 at 6:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Pick: Oklahoma

Arizona has been playing great football and has all the momentum in the world, while Oklahoma lost its starting quarterback, so naturally the pick should be Arizona. But, this is the exact type of game that a Pac-12 team like Arizona loses because its opponent is a name-brand program. The name “Oklahoma” will be too much for the Wildcats to overcome.

Sun Bowl: Oregon State vs. Notre Dame
Kickoff: Dec. 29 at 11 a.m. (CBS)
Pick: Notre Dame

Like Arizona, the Beavers should have all the motivation in the world to win but just will not be able to overcome the fact that they are facing a true blue blood. Both teams will be missing their quarterbacks. Notre Dame’s talent, despite being unmotivated, will prevail.

Sugar Bowl: Washington vs. Texas
Kickoff: Jan. 1 at 5:45 p.m. (ESPN)
Pick: Washington

Normally a big game that, once again, the Pac-12 cannot step up and win. But, this Husky team feels a little bit different as they have the feeling of a team of destiny. And, I am still not completely sold on Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns.

Feel free to make your predictions in the forum.

Darren Perkins
Spokane, WA
Top photo credit: Tom Corno

Natalie Liebhaber, the Volunteer Editor for this article, works in technology in SLC, Utah.

New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….

During the off-season the publishing schedule will consist of articles on Mondays and Tuesdays. Do keep checking as new articles could be published during the week when a writer has something to say.

In mid-August of 2024, we will go back to the seven-days-a-week of articles during the football season as we did in the football season of 2023.

The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there.  At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.

Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

OBD Forum members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!