Pac-12 Conference Football Championship Game
Pac-12 Football Championship.jpg
SportFootball
ConferencePac-12 Conference
Played2011–present
Last contest2021
Current championUtah
Most championshipsOregon (4)
TV partner(s)Fox (2011, even years)
ESPN/ABC (odd years)
Sponsors
76 (2016–present)[1]
Host stadiums
Blue pog.svg
– The 12 programs and their approximate locations
Green pog.svg
– Championship Game site

The Pac-12 Football Championship Game is an annual college football game held by the Pac-12 Conference to determine the season's conference champion. The game from the 2011—2021 had the champion of the North Division against the champion of the South Division. The inaugural game was held during the 2011 season.[3] Starting in 2022, the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage will face off in the championship game.[4]

The game is scheduled to be played in Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada through 2022.[5] In 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the game was hosted at the home stadium of the division winner with the better conference record, which was the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, home of the USC Trojans. From 2014 to 2019, the game was played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.[2] The first three editions were also held at the home stadium of the division winner with the better conference record: Autzen Stadium in 2011, Stanford Stadium in 2012, and Sun Devil Stadium in 2013. The game is usually held on the first Friday following the conclusion of the regular season.

The winner of the game is awarded the Pac-12 Conference's automatic berth in the Rose Bowl Game, unless the team is selected to play in the College Football Playoff (CFP), and/or in seasons where the Rose Bowl hosts a CFP semifinal.

Television broadcast rights to the game are shared by Fox Sports in even years and ESPN in most odd years, with the 2019 and 2021 editions on ABC. ESPN Radio holds the radio rights.[6]

History

See also: 2010–2014 NCAA conference realignment: Pac-10

In 2011, the Pacific-10 Conference added Colorado and Utah, bringing the membership total to 12 teams and becoming the Pac-12. Consequently, the conference split into two six-team divisions and created an annual conference championship game.

In the first season of the newly expanded Pac-12 in 2011, USC finished first in the South Division with a 7–2 conference record but was ineligible to play in postseason games due to NCAA sanctions. UCLA (5–4) represented the South Division in the inaugural Pac-12 Football Championship Game as its second-place team.[7] Oregon represented the North Division and defeated UCLA to become the conference's first football champion to be determined by a championship game.

Through the 2021 season, 9 of the 12 conference members have appeared in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game. All six teams of the South Division have made at least one appearance, while only Oregon, Stanford, Washington have represented the North Division. The North Division representatives won the first six contests and have a 9–1 overall record in the series through the 2020 season.

From 2011 through the 2021 season, the conference used to play the winner of each respective division, the South and the North against one another in the conference title game. Starting in the 2022 season, the Pac—12 elected to have the teams with the two highest conference winning percentage regardless of division play in the conference title game.[8]

Broadcast rights to the game are held by ESPN and Fox Sports on a 12-year deal that began in 2012, where the rights alternate between ESPN in odd years and Fox in even years. Fox broadcast the inaugural game in 2011.[9][10]

Team selection criteria

From 2011 through 2021 the conference used division standings are based on each team's overall conference record to select conference title game participants. In the event there was a tie two teams finish in a tie for first place, the championship game berth went to the winner of the season's head-to-head contest between the two teams. If three or more teams were tied, the following tiebreakers were used to determine the division champion:[11]

  • The following procedures will only be used to eliminate all but two teams, at which point the two-team tie-breaking procedure, head-to-head result, will be applied.
  1. Head-to-head (best record in games among the tied teams).
  2. Record in games played within the division.
  3. Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in all Conference games, both divisional and cross-divisional), proceeding through the division.
  4. Record in common Conference games.
  5. Highest ranking in the SportSource Analytics poll entering the final weekend of the regular season.

Starting in 2022 the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage will face off in the championship game.[12]

Home/away designation

The designated "home" and "away" teams are selected using a similar procedure:[11]

  • The division champion with the best conference record is designated as the home team. If the two teams are tied, the following criteria are considered.
  1. Head-to-head result, if applicable
  2. Record against the next highest placed common opponent in the conference (based on the record in all conference games), proceeding through the conference
  3. Record in common conference games
  4. Highest ranking in the SportSource Analytics poll following the final weekend of regular season games
  5. Coin toss

Results

During the era of divisional play, every Pac-12 South program represented the division at least once, but USC or Utah have represented the South in 6 out of 7 seasons beginning in 2015, and only USC and Utah have ever won the Championship Game from the South. Only three schools (Oregon, Stanford, and Washington) represented the North division; each has won the Championship Game multiple times.

Results by year

Below are the results from all Pac-12 Football Championship Games played. The winning team appears in bold font, on a background of their primary team color. Rankings are from the AP Poll released prior to the game.

Year North Division South Division Site Date Attendance MVP Ref.
2011 No. 8 Oregon Ducks 49 UCLA Bruinsdagger 31 Autzen StadiumEugene, OR December 2 59,376 RB LaMichael James, Oregon [13]
2012 No. 8 Stanford Cardinal 27 No. 17 UCLA Bruins 24 Stanford StadiumStanford, CA November 30 31,622 QB Kevin Hogan, Stanford [14]
2013 No. 7 Stanford Cardinal 38 No. 11 Arizona State Sun Devils 14 Sun Devil StadiumTempe, AZ December 7 69,535 RB Tyler Gaffney, Stanford [15]
2014 No. 3 Oregon Ducks 51 No. 8 Arizona Wildcats 13 Levi's StadiumSanta Clara, CA December 5 45,618 QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon [16]
2015 No. 7 Stanford Cardinal 41 No. 24 USC Trojans 22 December 5 58,476 RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford [17]
2016 No. 4 Washington Huskies 41 No. 9 Colorado Buffaloes 10 December 2 47,118 S Taylor Rapp, Washington [18]
2017 No. 14 Stanford Cardinal 28 No. 11 USC Trojans 31 December 1 48,031 QB Sam Darnold, USC [19]
2018 No. 11 Washington Huskies 10 No. 17 Utah Utes 3 November 30 35,134 CB Byron Murphy, Washington [20]
2019 No. 13 Oregon Ducks 37 No. 5 Utah Utes 15 December 6 38,679 RB C. J. Verdell, Oregon [21]
2020 Oregon Ducks^ 31 No. 13 USC Trojans 24 L.A. ColiseumLos Angeles, CA December 18 0 DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon [22]
2021 No. 10 Oregon Ducks 10 No. 14 Utah Utes 38 Allegiant StadiumParadise, NV December 3 56,511 LB Devin Lloyd, Utah [23]
Year #1 Seed #2 Seed Site Date Attendance MVP Ref.
2022 TBD TBD Allegiant StadiumParadise, NV December 2
dagger In 2011, UCLA, the second-place team in the South Division, played in place of USC, who was ineligible to participate due to NCAA sanctions.
^ In 2020, Oregon represented the North Division due to COVID-19 issues in Washington's program.

Results by team

Appearances School Wins Losses Pct. Titles Runners-up
5 Oregon 4 1 .800 2011, 2014, 2019, 2020 2021
4 Stanford 3 1 .750 2012, 2013, 2015 2017
3 USC 1 2 .333 2017 2015, 2020
3 Utah 1 2 .333 2021 2018, 2019
2 Washington 2 0 1.000 2016, 2018  
2 UCLA 0 2 .000   2011, 2012
1 Arizona 0 1 .000   2014
1 Arizona State 0 1 .000   2013
1 Colorado 0 1 .000   2016

California, Oregon State and Washington State have not yet appeared in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game.

Site selection criteria

During its first three years, the site of the Pac-12 Championship Game was the home stadium of the division champion with the superior overall conference record. In the event that the two division champions were tied, the head-to-head record would be used as the tiebreaker. If the two teams did not meet during the season, a BCS component was to be used.

After three years of the home-hosting model, the Pac-12 announced a three-year deal to host the game at the neutral site of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.[24] In 2017, the Pac-12 announced it would keep the game at Levi's Stadium through 2019 with an option for 2020.[25]

On July 24, 2019, it was announced that Allegiant Stadium, then under the working name Las Vegas Stadium, would host the Pac-12 Championship Game starting in 2021.[26]

On October 3, 2020, the Pac-12 announced that the 2020 Pac-12 Championship Game would revert to the original home-hosting model due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the 2021 game starting the two-year run at Allegiant Stadium.[27]

On May 18, 2022 the Pac-12 announced that starting with the 2022 edition, the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage will face off in the championship game. No changes were made to the 2022 Pac-12 schedule, which had already been set using the former divisional alignment. The conference also announced it was reviewing several potential scheduling models for future seasons.[28]

Game records

Team Record, Team vs. Opponent Year
Most points scored (one team) 51, Oregon vs. Arizona 2014
Most points scored (losing team) 31, UCLA vs. Oregon 2011
Fewest points scored (winning team) 10, Washington vs. Utah 2018
Fewest points scored 3, Utah vs. Washington 2018
Most points scored (both teams) 80, Oregon (49) vs. UCLA (31) 2011
Fewest points scored (both teams) 13, Washington (10) vs. Utah (3) 2018
Most points scored in a half 35, Oregon (1st half) vs. UCLA 2011
Most points scored in a half (both teams) 52, Oregon vs. UCLA (1st half) 2011
Largest margin of victory 38, Oregon (51) vs. Arizona (13) 2014
Smallest margin of victory 3, Stanford (27) vs. UCLA (24) 2012
Total yards 627, Oregon (326 passing, 301 rushing) vs. Arizona 2014
Rushing yards 352, Oregon vs. UCLA 2011
Passing yards 326, Oregon vs. Arizona 2014
First downs 31, Oregon vs. Arizona 2014
Fewest yards allowed 188, Washington vs. Utah (137 passing, 51 rushing) 2018
Fewest rushing yards allowed 51, Washington vs. Utah 2018
Fewest passing yards allowed 81, Washington vs. Colorado 2016
Individual Record, Player, Team vs. Opponent Year
All-purpose yards 346, Marcus Mariota, Oregon vs. Arizona 2014
Touchdowns (all-purpose) 5, Marcus Mariota, Oregon vs. Arizona 2014
Rushing yards 219, LaMichael James, Oregon vs. UCLA 2011
Rushing touchdowns 3, shared by four players, most recent:
C. J. Verdell, Oregon vs. Utah
 
2019
Passing yards 325, Sam Darnold, USC vs. Stanford 2017
Passing touchdowns 3, Darron Thomas, Oregon vs. UCLA 2011
Receiving yards 146, Michael Pittman Jr., USC vs. Stanford 2017
Receiving touchdowns 2, shared by:
Nelson Rosario, UCLA vs. Oregon
Kaden Smith, Stanford vs. USC
 
2011
2017
Tackles 19, Kenneth Olugbode, Colorado vs. Washington 2016
Sacks 2.5, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon vs. Utah 2019
Interceptions 2, shared by three players, most recent:
Jamal Hill, Oregon vs. USC
 
2020
Long Plays Record, Player, Team vs. Opponent Year
Touchdown run 70, C. J. Verdell, Oregon vs. Utah 2019
Touchdown pass 65, D. J. Foster from Taylor Kelly, Arizona State vs. Stanford 2013
Kickoff return 48, shared by:
Anthony Julmisse, Colorado vs. Washington
Phillip Lindsay, Colorado vs. Washington
 
2016
2016
Punt return 31, Christian McCaffrey, Stanford vs. USC 2015
Interception return 80, Ed Reynolds, Stanford vs. UCLA 2012
Fumble return
Punt 62, Tristan Vizcaino, Washington vs. Colorado 2016
Field goal 53, Matt Gay, Utah vs. Washington 2018
Miscellaneous Record, Team vs. Team Year
Game attendance 69,535, Stanford vs. Arizona State 2013

Source:[29]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Pac-12 names 76® as the presenting sponsor of its Football Championship Game" (Press release). Pac-12 Conference. October 3, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Fischer, Bryan (May 14, 2014). "Pac-12 to move football championship game to Levi's Stadium". NFL. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  3. ^ "Additional Pac-12 2011 Football Telecast Windows Announced". Pacific-10 Conference. June 1, 2011. Archived from the original on June 21, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  4. ^ "Pac-12 announces change to Football Championship Game format".
  5. ^ "Pac-12 approves 2020 football schedule & for fall sports". Allegiant Stadium. July 31, 2020. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  6. ^ Chozet, Tara (August 31, 2016). "ESPN Radio's 2016-17 Regular College Football Schedule Kicks off with Two Top-25 Matchups" (Press release). ESPN MediaZone.
  7. ^ Miller, Ted (November 26, 2011). "What do we call UCLA?". ESPN. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "Pac-12 announces change to Football Championship Game format".
  9. ^ "Fox Sports To Televise Inaugural Pac-12 Football Championship Game". Pacific-10 Conference. January 6, 2011. Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  10. ^ "Pac-12 Announces Landmark Media Rights Deal With ESPN, Fox Sports Media Group". Pacific-10 Conference. May 4, 2011. Archived from the original on June 21, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Pac-12 Football Championship Game tiebreaker explanation" (Press release). Pac-12 Network Newsroom. June 9, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  12. ^ "Pac-12 announces change to Football Championship Game format".
  13. ^ "UCLA vs. Oregon - Game Summary - December 2, 2011 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  14. ^ "UCLA vs. Stanford - Game Summary - November 30, 2012 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  15. ^ "Stanford vs. Arizona State - Game Summary - December 7, 2013 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  16. ^ "Arizona vs. Oregon - Game Summary - December 5, 2014 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  17. ^ "USC vs. Stanford - Game Summary - December 5, 2015 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  18. ^ "Colorado vs. Washington - Game Summary - December 2, 2016 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  19. ^ "Stanford vs. USC - Game Summary - December 1, 2017 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  20. ^ "Utah vs. Washington - Game Summary - November 30, 2018 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  21. ^ "Utah vs. Oregon - Game Summary - December 9, 2019 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  22. ^ "Oregon holds off USC late, grabs Pac-12 title with 31-24 win". ESPN.com. December 18, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  23. ^ "2021 PAC-12 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME".
  24. ^ Wilner, Jon (May 19, 2014). "Pac-12 football: The title game moves to Levi's Stadium". Bay Area News Group.
  25. ^ "Pac-12 announces agreement with Levi's Stadium to continue hosting Football Championship Game" (Press release). Pac-12 Conference. July 26, 2017.
  26. ^ Bolch, Ben (July 24, 2019). "The Pac-12's football championship game is headed for Las Vegas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  27. ^ "Pac-12 announces 2020 football schedule | Pac-12". pac-12.com. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  28. ^ "Pac-12 announces change to Football Championship Game format".
  29. ^ "2020 Pac-12 Record Book" (PDF). pac-12.com. pp. 126–129. Retrieved December 4, 2021.