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Notre Dame beats USC, UO football still in limbo

Southern California finished last in the Pacific-10 Conference, but regardless, its final game of the season still had bowl game implications.

Unfortunately, the Trojans’ loss to No. 10 Notre Dame had a negative impact on the Pac-10 postseason.

When the Irish smashed USC’s defense and won 38-21, they secured a likely Fiesta Bowl matchup that potentially pits them against No. 6 Virginia Tech. Oregon State, ranked No. 5, most likely would have been paired with the Hokies had Southern California won the game. That would have led No. 9 Oregon to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

The Beavers are ranked higher than Virginia Tech. However, the presence of Hokies’ quarterback Michael Vick at the Fiesta Bowl would probably result in higher ticket sales. Virginia Tech has sold out its allotment of tickets each year in seven straight bowl appearances.

Victories by Miami and Oklahoma (the Sooners scraped by Oklahoma State, 12-7) narrowed the race for the national championship, virtually eliminating Washington from Orange Bowl contention.

So, most likely, the Huskies are Rose Bowl bound and Oregon State is headed to the Holiday Bowl.

Which leaves Oregon… going where?

Nobody will know until Dec. 3, when the BCS bowl bids are determined.

The co-Pac-10 Champion Ducks may end up in one of the two Hawaii Bowls. Last week, the Sun Bowl refused to choose Oregon for one of its two spots because the Ducks played in El Paso, Texas, last season. All Pac-10 bowls except for the Rose Bowl have the right to turn away teams that played there the previous season.

The Insight.com Bowl in Arizona is not out of the picture, either. One possibility has the Sun Bowl trading its rights to Oregon to the Insight.com Bowl for a Big 12 team, sending the Ducks to Phoenix to face the No. 3 Big East winner, probably Syracuse.

Or there’s Hawaii. Could it be that unranked UCLA or Arizona State plays in a better bowl than the Ducks?

One week from now, Oregon will finally know its fate.

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