Pac-12 Football Championship Game

Pac-12 Conference Football Championship Game
Conference Football Championship
Sport Football
Conference Pac-12 Conference
Played 2011–present
Last contest 2017
Current champion USC
Most championships Stanford (3)
TV partner(s) Fox (2011, even years)
ESPN/ABC (odd years)
Sponsors
76 (2016–present)[1]
Host stadiums
– Northern division
– Southern division
– 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 inaugural game was held on December 2, 2011.[3]

The game pits the champion of the Pac-12 North Division against the champion of the Pac-12 South Division. Since 2014, the game has been played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.[2] The first three games 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.

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

History

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 Pac-12 Championship Game as its second-place team.[5]

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 the two networks on a year-by-year cycle. Fox broadcast the inaugural game in 2011.[6][7]

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:[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

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 results, 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

The North Division representative won every edition of the Pac-12 Championship Game since its inception in 2011 until USC beat Stanford in 2017. Rankings are from the AP Poll at time of the matchup.

Results by year

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

Results by team

Games School Wins Losses Pct. Titles Runners-up
4 Stanford 3 1 .750 2012, 2013, 2015 2017
2 Oregon 2 0 1.000 2011, 2014  
1 Washington 1 0 1.000 2016  
2 USC 1 1 .500 2017 2015
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

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.[12] In 2017, the Pac-12 announced it would keep the game at Levi's Stadium through 2019 with an option for 2020.[13]

See also

References

  1. "Pac-12 names 76® as the presenting sponsor of its Football Championship Game" (Press release). Pacific-12 Conference. October 3, 2016.
  2. 1 2 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. 1 2 "Pac-12 Football Championship Game tiebreaker explanation" (Press release). Pac-12 Network Newsroom. June 9, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  9. "Start Times Set For Select FB Games". GoDucks.com. University of Oregon. June 1, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2015. The Pac-12 Conference Championship Game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 5, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
  10. "Pac-12 announces 2016 football schedule". December 15, 2015. Retrieved February 22, 2016. the Pac-12 Football Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Friday, December 2.
  11. "Pac-12 announces 2017 Championship Game Location". July 24, 2017. Retrieved February 22, 2016. the Pac-12 Football Championship Game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Friday, December 1.
  12. Wilner, Jon (May 19, 2014). "Pac-12 football: The title game moves to Levi's Stadium". Bay Area News Group.
  13. "Pac-12 announces agreement with Levi's Stadium to continue hosting Football Championship Game" (Press release). Pac-12 Conference. July 26, 2017.
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