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It all comes down to this for Ducks and rest of Pac-12

Title game will determine bowl fates

The Pac-12 has eight teams eligible for a bowl game and it seems likely each school will find a postseason home when bids are officially announced on Sunday morning.

The conference has arrangements with seven bowl games including the Rose Bowl, which will host Oregon in a College Football Playoff semifinal if the Ducks beat Arizona in the conference championship game at Levi’s Stadium on Friday night.

However, if Arizona defeats the Ducks, then the conference seems unlikely to get a team in the CFP, but would likely have two teams be part of the six New Year’s bowls that the selection committee will fill out.

It looks as if 11 teams from the power conferences will be invited to the six games on either Dec. 31 or Jan. 1 because No. 22 Boise State is guaranteed a spot as the highest-ranked team from another conference if it beats Fresno State on Saturday and remains in the top 25.

There is some question whether or not the Pac-12 will get a second team in an elite New Year’s bowl if Arizona loses to the Ducks on Friday. The Wildcats are No. 7 this week, but will they fall below No. 11 with a loss to the Ducks?

The Pac-12 has had Arizona, Arizona State, and UCLA in the top 11 during the past three weeks, but an Arizona loss would mean every conference team other than Oregon has at least three losses and that might not be enough for the CFP to slot them in one of the prestigious games.

If Oregon wins on Friday, it is a lock to be in the CFP and that could move Arizona off of the New Year’s schedule and into the Alamo Bowl.

Under that scenario, UCLA is likely to be heading for the Holiday Bowl and Arizona State could end up in the Foster Farms bowl in Santa Clara, Calif., giving the Sun Devils a chance to play at Levi’s Stadium, albeit a couple of weeks later than they wanted.

USC would then fall into the Sun Bowl, although that committee was not thrilled with the way the Trojans handled themselves before the 2012 game. Utah would then play in the Las Vegas Bowl, and Stanford would go to the Cactus Bowl, with Washington looking like a possibility for the Armed Forces Bowl, which is not affiliated with the Pac-12 but might need a team.

If Arizona defeats Oregon, the Wildcats seem to be a likely fit for the nearby Fiesta Bowl while Oregon would be slotted elsewhere in the New Year’s bowl scenario, probably the Cotton Bowl, but possibly the Orange or Peach bowls.

If that happens, the rest of the conference teams would move up one spot with UCLA in the Alamo, Arizona State in the Holiday, USC in the Foster Farms, Utah in the Sun, Stanford headed to Las Vegas, and Washington in the Cactus Bowl.

The six bowl-eligible conference teams not in the title game may be rooting for the Wildcats to assure themselves of a better postseason destination.