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2012 Bowl projections: USC slated for Las Vegas Bowl showdown with Boise State

USC's return to the bowl season could feature a matchup with Boise State, according to CBS Sports.

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

A five-loss season for the preseason No. 1 USC Trojans was among the more surprising outcomes from the 2012 season, but with bowl season approaching, it looks like the Trojans will land softly in a intriguing possible meeting with the Boise State Broncos in the Las Vegas Bowl.

According to the latest CBS Sports slate of bowl projections, the Trojans could face off against the Broncos on Dec. 22 in the Las Vegas Bowl against a nine- or 10-win Boise State team. The Broncos take on the Nevada Wolf Pack next weekend in their season finale, while the Trojans have completed their season and will watch from home as their bowl fate is decided for them.

The Trojans will return to a bowl for the first time since they beat the Boston College Eagles in the 2009 Emerald Bowl. The Trojans served a two-season bowl ban as a result of NCAA infractions.

Boise State will still hold out hope of qualifying for a BCS bowl if they can finish as the top-ranked non-AQ conference champion ahead of the Big East champion in the top 16 of the final BCS rankings.