Pac-12 Football Championship Game

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Pac-12 Conference Football Championship Game
Conference Football Championship
Pac-12 Football Championship.jpg
Championship Game Logo
SportFootball
ConferencePac-12 Conference
Played2011–present
Last contest2018
Current championWashington
Most championshipsStanford (3)
TV partner(s)Fox (2011, even years)
ESPN/ABC (odd years)
Sponsors
76 (2016–present)[1]
Host stadiums
Blue pog.svg – North Division
Red pog.svg – South Division
Green pog.svg – Pac-12 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 pits the champion of the North Division against the champion of the South Division.The inaugural game was held during the 2011 season.[3]

Since 2014, the game has been played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.[2] 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.

Television broadcast rights to the game are shared by Fox Sports and ESPN/ABC. ESPN Radio holds the radio rights.[4]

History[edit]

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.[5] 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.[6][7]

Team selection criteria[edit]

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:[8]

  • 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.

Home/away designation[edit]

The designated "home" and "away" teams are selected using a similar procedure:[8]

  • 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[edit]

Results by year[edit]

Year North Division South Division Site Date Attendance MVP Ref.
2011 8 Oregon Ducks 49 UCLA Bruins* 31 Autzen StadiumEugene, OR December 2 59,376 RB LaMichael James, Oregon [9]
2012 8 Stanford Cardinal 27 17 UCLA Bruins 24 Stanford StadiumStanford, CA November 30 31,622 QB Kevin Hogan, Stanford [10]
2013 7 Stanford Cardinal 38 11 Arizona State Sun Devils 14 Sun Devil StadiumTempe, AZ December 7 69,535 RB Tyler Gaffney, Stanford [11]
2014 3 Oregon Ducks 51 8 Arizona Wildcats 13 Levi's StadiumSanta Clara, CA December 5 45,618 QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon [12]
2015 7 Stanford Cardinal 41 24 USC Trojans 22 December 5 58,476 RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford [13]
2016 4 Washington Huskies 41 9 Colorado Buffaloes 10 December 2 47,118 S Taylor Rapp, Washington [14]
2017 14 Stanford Cardinal 28 11 USC Trojans 31 December 1 48,031 QB Sam Darnold, USC [15]
2018 11 Washington Huskies 10 17 Utah Utes 3 November 30 35,134 CB Byron Murphy, Washington [16]

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[edit]

Appearances School Wins Losses Pct. Titles Runners-up
4 Stanford 3 1 .750 2012, 2013, 2015 2017
2 Oregon 2 0 1.000 2011, 2014  
2 USC 1 1 .500 2017 2015
2 UCLA 0 2 .000   2011, 2012
2 Washington 2 0 1.000 2016, 2018  
1 Arizona 0 1 .000   2014
1 Arizona State 0 1 .000   2013
1 Colorado 0 1 .000   2016
1 Utah 0 1 .000   2018

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

Site selection criteria[edit]

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.[17] In 2017, the Pac-12 announced it would keep the game at Levi's Stadium through 2019 with an option for 2020.[18]

Game Records[edit]

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

2014

2013

2011

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

2014

2013

2011

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

2012

2011

Interceptions 2, Byron Murphy, Washington vs. Utah;

Taylor Rapp, Washington vs. Colorado

2018

2016

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

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

See also[edit]

List of NCAA Division I FBS conference championship games

References[edit]

  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. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Miller, Ted (November 26, 2011). "What do we call UCLA?". ESPN. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ a b "Pac-12 Football Championship Game tiebreaker explanation" (Press release). Pac-12 Network Newsroom. June 9, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "UCLA vs. Oregon - Game Summary - December 2, 2011 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  10. ^ "UCLA vs. Stanford - Game Summary - November 30, 2012 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  11. ^ "Stanford vs. Arizona State - Game Summary - December 7, 2013 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  12. ^ "Arizona vs. Oregon - Game Summary - December 5, 2014 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  13. ^ "USC vs. Stanford - Game Summary - December 5, 2015 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  14. ^ "Colorado vs. Washington - Game Summary - December 2, 2016 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  15. ^ "Stanford vs. USC - Game Summary - December 1, 2017 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  16. ^ "Utah vs. Washington - Game Summary - November 30, 2018 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  17. ^ Wilner, Jon (May 19, 2014). "Pac-12 football: The title game moves to Levi's Stadium". Bay Area News Group.
  18. ^ "Pac-12 announces agreement with Levi's Stadium to continue hosting Football Championship Game" (Press release). Pac-12 Conference. July 26, 2017.