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Holiday Bowl clock: Notre Dame popular choice and Utah a likely Pac-12 opponent

Selection Sunday is just two weeks and two days away, but the College Bowl picture will remain fluid until a few hours before the announcements.

The officials of the SDCCU Holiday Bowl will be in full swing in the meantime. They’ll hope things continue to fall into place with Notre Dame coming to town for the December 28 game to be played at Petco Park.

Notre Dame played San Diego for the first time four years ago, beating Navy 44-22 in a game in front of 63,626 spectators at SDCCU Stadium.

The Fighting Irish (8-3), No. 15 in this week’s CFP rankings, end the regular season at No. 6 USC (10-1) Saturday afternoon.

The Holiday Bowl brings together teams from the ACC (Notre Dame is grouped with the conference for bowl purposes) and Pac-12. At this point, Utah (8-3) is a likely representative of the Pac-12. The Utes wrap up the regular season Saturday in Colorado.

Here’s a look at how things are shaping up in the ACC and Pac-12 as bowl officials consider which two teams should be invited to this year’s game on December 4th:

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Wednesday, December 28, 5 p.m. (Fox), Petco Park

Expected Payout: $3.23 million per team.

Conference integrations: ACC vs Pac-12.

Playoff Semifinals 2022: Fiesta Bowl, peach bowl.

Other New Year’s Six Games: Cotton bowl, orange peel, rose bowl, sugar bowl.

pecking order: After the NY6 slots are filled, the Holiday Bowl gets second pick after the Alamo Bowl in the Pac-12 (note that in odd years, the Holiday Bowl is third after the Alamo and Las Vegas Bowls).

The Holiday Bowl, Gator Bowl, and Cheez-It Bowl all submit their top three choices to the ACC. If all three bowls choose different schools as their top pick, then they get that team.

When there is overlap, the conference and the bowls handle things.

Comments: The CFP selection committee has moved Notre Dame up three spots in its most recent top 25 ranking — from 18th to 15th.

If Notre Dame beats USC, the Fighting Irish could potentially move up the rankings and position themselves for a vacancy in the Cotton Bowl. Of course, a lot of things would have to come together – several teams lose, especially everyone – for this to take place.

When Notre Dame loses to USC, it’s all moot.

Even with a win, the Irish are more likely to play for the Cheez-It, Gator and Holiday Bowls.

At this point, North Carolina and No. 16 Florida State (8-3) seem like a better match for Cheez-It and Gator based on the teams’ success and proximity to the bowls.

No. 8 Clemson (10-1) and No. 17 North Carolina (9-2) clash in the ACC Championship game. The Tigers would need help moving to a CFP berth, although both schools still have an eye on NY6 berths.

Should either team falter on track, both would have appeals to the Holiday Bowl.

The no-replay clause — as well as two recent losses — exclude North Carolina State (7-4) from consideration here, as the Wolf Pack came to town last season to play UCLA, which fell last Minute passed (citing COVID issues). within the program).

On the Pac-12 side, USC has an aspiration to somehow qualify for the playoffs, with the Rose Bowl as a consolation prize.

Last week’s loss to USC means the best hope for No. 18 UCLA (8-3) is the Alamo Bowl, which will also be eyeing Oregon (9-2). The Ducks need to get past No. 21 Oregon State (8-3) this weekend to keep hopes of an NY6 game alive.

After last week’s loss to Oregon, No. 14 Utah (8-3) fits right into the Holiday Bowl picture. But Holiday Bowl officials will be watching the Oregon-Oregon State game closely. If the ducks stumble, then they will also be a prime contender for the holidays.

Impact games on Friday

Acc

(CFP ranking)

NC State in No. 17 North Carolina, 12:30 p.m. (ABC)

Florida in the State of Florida No. 16 4:30 p.m. (ABC)

Pac-12

No. 18 UCLA in Cal, 1:30 p.m. (FOX)

Batting games on Saturday:

Acc

South Carolina at No. 8 Clemson, 9 p.m. (ABC)

Pac-12

No. 9 Oregon at No. 21 Oregon State, 12:30 p.m. (ABC)

No. 14 Utah in Colorado, 1 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

#15 Notre Dame at #6 USC 4:30 p.m. (ABC)

No. 13 Washington, Washington State, 7:30 (ESPN)

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