Pac-12 Football Championship Game
|Pac-12 Conference Football Championship Game|
|Conference Football Championship|
Championship Game Logo
|Most championships||Stanford (3)|
|TV partner(s)||Fox (2011, even years)|
ESPN/ABC (odd years)
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 pits the champion of the North Division against the champion of the South Division.The inaugural game was held during the 2011 season.
Since 2014, the game has been played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The first three editions were 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), or in seasons where the Rose Bowl hosts a CFP semifinal.
In 2011, the Pac-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. 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 2018 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, and Washington have represented the North Division. The North Division representatives won the first six contests and currently have a 7–1 overall record in the series.
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.
Team selection criteria
Division standings are based on each team's overall conference record. In the event that two teams finish in a tie for first place, the championship game berth goes to the winner of the season's head-to-head contest between the two teams. If three or more teams are tied, the following tiebreakers are used to determine the division champion:
- 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.
- Head-to-head (best record in games among the tied teams).
- Record in games played within the division.
- 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.
- Record in common Conference games.
- Highest ranking in the SportSource Analytics poll entering the final weekend of the regular season.
The designated "home" and "away" teams are selected using a similar procedure:
- 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.
- Head-to-head result, if applicable
- Record against the next highest placed common opponent in the conference (based on the record in all conference games), proceeding through the conference
- Record in common conference games
- Highest ranking in the SportSource Analytics poll following the final weekend of regular season games
- Coin toss
Results by year
|Year||North Division||South Division||Site||Date||Attendance||MVP||Ref.|
|2011||8 Oregon Ducks||49||UCLA Bruins*||31||Autzen Stadium • Eugene, OR||December 2||59,376||RB LaMichael James, Oregon|||
|2012||8 Stanford Cardinal||27||17 UCLA Bruins||24||Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CA||November 30||31,622||QB Kevin Hogan, Stanford|||
|2013||7 Stanford Cardinal||38||11 Arizona State Sun Devils||14||Sun Devil Stadium • Tempe, AZ||December 7||69,535||RB Tyler Gaffney, Stanford|||
|2014||3 Oregon Ducks||51||8 Arizona Wildcats||13||Levi's Stadium • Santa Clara, CA||December 5||45,618||QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon|||
|2015||7 Stanford Cardinal||41||24 USC Trojans||22||December 5||58,476||RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford|||
|2016||4 Washington Huskies||41||9 Colorado Buffaloes||10||December 2||47,118||S Taylor Rapp, Washington|||
|2017||14 Stanford Cardinal||28||11 USC Trojans||31||December 1||48,031||QB Sam Darnold, USC|||
|2018||11 Washington Huskies||10||17 Utah Utes||3||November 30||35,134||CB Byron Murphy, Washington|||
Rankings reflect the AP Poll at the time of the matchup.
*UCLA, the second-place team in the South Division, played in place of USC, who was was ineligible to participate due to NCAA sanctions.
Results by team
|4||Stanford||3||1||.750||2012, 2013, 2015||2017|
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. In 2017, the Pac-12 announced it would keep the game at Levi's Stadium through 2019 with an option for 2020.
|Team||Record, Team vs. Opponent||Year|
|Most points scored||53, Oregon vs. Arizona||2014|
|Most points scored (losing team)||31, UCLA vs. Oregon||2011|
|Most points scored (both teams)||80, Oregon vs. UCLA||2011|
|Fewest points allowed||3, Washington vs. Utah||2018|
|Largest margin of victory||38, Oregon vs. Arizona||2014|
|Total yards||627, Oregon 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||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||461, Christian McCaffrey, Stanford vs. USC||2015|
|Touchdowns (passing and scoring)||5, Marcus Mariota, Oregon vs. Arizona||2014|
|Touchdowns (scoring)||3, Marcus Mariota, Oregon vs. Arizona;
Tyler Gaffney, Stanford vs. Arizona State
LaMichael James, Oregon vs. UCLA
|Rushing yards||219, LaMichael James, Oregon vs. UCLA||2011|
|Rushing touchdowns||3, Marcus Mariota, Oregon vs. Arizona;
Tyler Gaffney, Stanford vs. Arizona State;
LaMichael James, Oregon vs. UCLA
|Passing yards||325, Sam Darnold, USC vs. Stanford||2017|
|Passing touchdowns||3, Darron Thomas, Oregon vs. UCLA||2011|
|Tackles||19, Kenneth Olugbode, Colorado vs. Washington||2016|
|Sacks||2, Chase Thomas, Stanford vs. UCLA;
Michael Clay, Oregon vs. UCLA
|Interceptions||2, Byron Murphy, Washington vs. Utah;
Taylor Rapp, Washington vs. Colorado
|Long plays||Record, Player, Team vs. opponent||Year|
|Touchdown run||69, Tyler Gaffney, Stanford vs. Arizona State||2013|
|Touchdown pass||65, Taylor Kelly to D. J. Foster, Arizona State vs. Stanford||2013|
|Kickoff return||48, Phillip Lindsay, Colorado vs. Washington;
Anthony Julmisse, Colorado vs. Washington
|Punt return||31, Christian McCaffrey, Stanford vs. USC||2015|
|Interception return||80, Ed Reynolds, Stanford vs. UCLA||2012|
|Punt||62, Tristan Vizcaino, Washington vs. Colorado||2016|
|Field goal||53, Matt Gay, Utah vs. Washington||2018|
- "Pac-12 names 76® as the presenting sponsor of its Football Championship Game" (Press release). Pac-12 Conference. October 3, 2016.
- Fischer, Bryan (May 14, 2014). "Pac-12 to move football championship game to Levi's Stadium". NFL. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
- "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.
- 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.
- Miller, Ted (November 26, 2011). "What do we call UCLA?". ESPN. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Pac-12 Football Championship Game tiebreaker explanation" (Press release). Pac-12 Network Newsroom. June 9, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
- "UCLA vs. Oregon - Game Summary - December 2, 2011 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "UCLA vs. Stanford - Game Summary - November 30, 2012 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Stanford vs. Arizona State - Game Summary - December 7, 2013 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Arizona vs. Oregon - Game Summary - December 5, 2014 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "USC vs. Stanford - Game Summary - December 5, 2015 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Colorado vs. Washington - Game Summary - December 2, 2016 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Stanford vs. USC - Game Summary - December 1, 2017 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Utah vs. Washington - Game Summary - November 30, 2018 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- Wilner, Jon (May 19, 2014). "Pac-12 football: The title game moves to Levi's Stadium". Bay Area News Group.
- "Pac-12 announces agreement with Levi's Stadium to continue hosting Football Championship Game" (Press release). Pac-12 Conference. July 26, 2017.