Bowl projections: Oregon squarely in College Football Playoff conversation after UCLA win

The Oregon dilemma for the College Football Playoff committee is looming with the Ducks on a six-game winning streak and suddenly a contender after their defeat of UCLA.

It’s a surprising metamorphosis for a team that was throttled in its opener against Georgia, losing by 46 in the opening game of Dan Lanning’s tenure. Bo Nix was awful. The offense produced three points. The defense allowed 571 yards of offense and 49 points.

Now they’re one of the hot teams in the country and have a manageable stretch in the rest of the regular season except for a visit from Utah and trip to Oregon State.

What if Oregon wins out and then takes the Pac-12 title? Could the Ducks finally be the first Pac-12 team since 2016 to make the semifinals? It’s possible, depending on how things play out in the rest of the country with TCU unbeaten in the Big 12, the Big Ten having two teams in the top four and the SEC having three in the top six.

They’d have a strong case against one-loss teams without a conference championship, but there’s still lots off football left and we’ve seen Oregon stumbled unexpectedly before.

The major changes in this week’s bowl projection start with the Ducks sliding into the Rose Bowl and Southern California replacing them in the Cotton Bowl. Texas and Mississippi join UCLA in falling out of the New Year’s Six. TCU and Penn State move in.