Which bowl game is on the horizon for UCLA football?

UCLA's bowl game will be the career finale for seniors such as Jordan Payton, the team's all-time receptions leader. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA’s bowl game will be the career finale for seniors such as Jordan Payton, the team’s all-time receptions leader. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

After losing to USC on Saturday, UCLA receiver Jordan Payton framed the bowl game as a chance to “put the program back in the right direction.”

As a refresher, here are the Pac-12’s bowl tie-ins, in order of selection:

1. Rose Bowl
2. Alamo Bowl
3. Holiday Bowl
4. Foster Farms Bowl
5. Sun Bowl
6. Las Vegas Bowl
7. Cactus Bowl

Since it doesn’t serve as a playoff semifinal this year, the Rose Bowl will simply take the Pac-12 champion. If that champion ends up in the playoff — only Stanford has a chance — then the bowl will take the next-highest-ranked team out of the conference. Either scenario puts UCLA in the range to go as high as the Holiday Bowl and as low as the Las Vegas Bowl.

Important note: While the top bowls in the order can take teams within one game of the best available conference record, the Sun, Las Vegas, and Cactus Bowls do not have such leeway. They only have a choice between multiple teams with the same record.

Holiday Bowl | Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego) | Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m.

UCLA likely won’t be heading to San Diego for bowl season, but the Bruins shouldn’t be counted out entirely. With the third selection out of the Pac-12, the Holiday Bowl should get their pick of the three 6-3 teams — Utah, USC and Washington State — assuming that Stanford and Oregon end up in the Rose and Alamo Bowls, respectively. UCLA is technically eligible at 5-4, but executive director Mark Neville all but ruled out the Bruins, telling the OC Register that the Holiday Bowl would be more likely to take the Trojans a second straight year.

Foster Farms Bowl | Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara) | Dec. 26, 6:15 p.m.

Even with a 5-4 record, UCLA could be an intriguing option to play in Santa Clara. Foster Farms Bowl executive director Gary Cavalli said the factor that works in the Bruins’ favor is proximity: There’s a strong UCLA alumni presence in the Bay Area, and even fans in Los Angeles could easily make the drive. Continue reading

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UCLA’s potential bowl gifts include GoPro camera, Fossil watches

Every year, the Sports Business Journal does the tireless work of rounding up a complete list of college football bowl gifts — making it easier for the rest of us to either gawk or laugh. (Helen of Troy hair dryer, anyone? Or maybe a personalized Fathead?)

Here are the prizes for UCLA’s possible bowl destinations:

Alamo Bowl: GoPro Hero4 Silver camera and 32MB memory card; Fossil watch; Oakley Works backpack; Schutt mini helmet; panoramic photo

Holiday Bowl: $445 Best Buy gift card and shopping trip; Fossil watch; cap

Foster Farms Bowl: Gift suite*; Fossil watch

*Suites allow players to select from a list of gifts, up to a predetermined value, and can be one of most popular options.

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Pac-12 links: Utah’s Jordan Loveridge sheds 25 pounds

» Promising Utah forward Jordan Loveridge has dropped 25 pounds since March, spurred in part by his father’s recent diabetes diagnosis. The 6-foot-6 rising sophomore didn’t want his dad to diet alone.

“As close as we are, it’s something that’s made us closer,” Bill Loveridge told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We talked about it once, and then we’ve just kind of gone out and done it.”

» Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will serve one day in jail for his guilty DUI plea. How long should he be suspended?

» Stanford is the only FBS school that employs African-Americans as athletic director, football head coach and men’s basketball head coach. Is that a big deal? David Shaw: “I think it is a story that it’s not a big story. That’s a great story!” Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: NCAA to announce Oregon resolution Wednesday

» The NCAA will release its findings on Oregon football tomorrow. The Ducks paid a law firm $208,991.48 over a 24-month period as part of their internal investigation into violations.

» Ed O’Bannon’s lawsuit against the NCAA is still awaiting potential class-action certification, but it’s already prompted Moody’s to revise the organization’s credit long-term outlook to negative.

» Both the Holiday and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowls will now be tied to the Pac-12 and Big Ten. The Holiday Bowl will pick from the Pac-12 after the Alamo and Rose Bowls; the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl will pick after that. The Big Ten did not announce any locks into certain selections. Continue reading

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