The Pac-12 Championship Game is This Weekend

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This weekend will mark an informal first round of conference championship games between Utah, UCLA, and USC – only a loss in this weekend’s games would throw this process off track and make matters uncertain.

Oregon must win and hope Utah loses to keep its playoff hopes alive, which requires Cameron Rising to remain healthy and an aggressive defensive effort from Oregon.

Oregon

Oregon Ducks have made history as the only team ever in college football history to reach the conference championship game every year since the expansion began in 2011. They currently rank second in the Pac-12 and appear poised for another trip. On Friday, they’ll play Utah at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas in what will serve as a rematch from the 2019 and 2020 title matches between these teams.

Oregon would then clinch the South division and earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game, replacing its previous system of pairing off winners of each division against each other in individual match-ups. The contest winner would then receive an invitation to the Rose Bowl.

Oregon defeated Utah 37-15 to beat them as near-touchdown underdogs and secure victory as one of the lowest-scoring Pac-12 championship games ever seen. Oregon’s win was due to their strong defense and Heisman Trophy candidate Michael Penix, who not only threw for 193 yards but also ran for 77 yards and scored another touchdown!

With winning a Pac-12 championship comes more than personal glory and accolades; coaches also stand to gain financially by qualifying and then winning this game. Some schools may provide bonuses of $100,000 just for qualifying; another bonus could come should they win it all!

Coaches also stand to benefit financially by winning the Pac-12 title as it will enhance their resume and help secure future work – this is particularly relevant for first-year coaches.

UCLA still has a chance at qualifying for the Pac-12 Championship game if they win their remaining three regular-season games, but will need to overcome many obstacles. They must defeat Oregon and Utah and hope USC loses against UCLA next week to do so.

Utah

Utah had to overcome many odds to capture its first Pac-12 Championship last year, and now are playing for their second in succession. The match-up will take place in Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 1, with Cam Rising leading Utah in an intense 43-42 win against USC on Oct. 15. They hope that Friday night can provide them with another opportunity to avenge one of their three losses from this season against Trojans.

This year marks the inaugural College Football Playoff, wherein teams with the best overall conference records compete to meet for their championship game rather than division winners. Additionally, Pac-12 changed its qualification process, making it easier for teams to gain access. It remains uncertain whether this new system is permanent, but it at least serves as an interim measure until the CFP can finalize its long-term structure.

Utah won a tight race to qualify for the 2023 Pac-12 championship game and emerged victorious. They needed help from three other teams but secured their spot thanks to an emphatic victory against USC on Saturday. As reigning champs and recent Heisman contender Cam Rising’s Trojans, they faced stiff opposition but ultimately came out victorious in an exciting contest earlier in the year.

The Utes needed Oregon State to lose in the Apple Cup – something which always seems likely in rivalry matches – to claim victory, and they did just that with a 63-21 win against them in Salt Lake City on Oct 15th. This result means they will face No. 4 USC again this season for a repeat match-up after losing 43-42 against them back on October 15th at home in Salt Lake City on Oct 15th. With one or two more victories under their belts, they might have a chance at defending their title against UCLA, winning over Cal while Washington loses at Stanford; all scenarios remain possible but require being at full strength with team players available against rivalries to compete successfully against these opponents to achieve this potential title defense!

USC

The winner of the Pac-12 Championship Game has an opportunity to compete for victory at Pasadena for New Year’s Day action in Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, with eight out of nine previous winners making the trip. This year’s championship game will occur Friday, December 2, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas; FOX will broadcast and stream it online.

USC defeated UCLA on Saturday to capture the Pac-12 South Division championship, setting up their match-up with Utah for Friday’s Pac-12 Championship Game. Utah, ranked fourth in College Football Playoff rankings, hopes to repeat as champion.

No. 4 USC remains in contention for a national championship despite losing to No. 11 Utah earlier this season and is heavily favored to beat them on Friday in Las Vegas. Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams will look to lead them to victory but must contend with Utah’s formidable defense.

The 2022 Pac-12 football championship game will take place on December 2, featuring the top two teams from each conference’s North and South divisions. Before this season, however, division winners from each meeting competed for glory at a single game; since divisions were removed after this season, however, the 2022 championship game will take place at a neutral site between two former South Division teams.

Utah would make history with a win on Friday if they were to return to the Pac-12 Championship Game since 2015 and crack into the top 25 College Football Playoff rankings. Conversely, USC could lose and become out of contention for CFP contention.

The Pac-12 Championship Game is a single-game playoff between the winners of each division in the Pac-12 Conference. If a tie occurs, the head-to-head record will be used; otherwise, a BCS component may be considered a tiebreaker.

Washington

Utah secured their spot in the Pac-12 championship game with a 59-57 Apple Cup victory against Oregon State, earning them a date with No. 6 USC next Friday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas – marking a first for this title game as under its previous system, top two teams from each division met for each championship game.

The game was an exhilarating one and went down to its last minute. Utah had an opportunity to tie with 20 seconds remaining, but freshman guard Osborne’s shot didn’t fall, leading a mass of bodies into rebounding but out-of-bounds several times; Leger-Walker also missed her three-point attempt.

With their win, the Huskies moved to 8-1 and finished second in the Pac-12 Conference – their first winning season since 2015. Though injuries and coaching changes affected them throughout 2018, young players stepped up and contributed in crucial moments during the late part of the season.

This win also secured UConn a New Year’s Six bowl spot despite their loss against Stanford; finishing in the top 12 in College Football Playoff rankings guarantees them a place at one of these bowls: Alamo Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, Holiday Bowl, or Sun Bowl.

Washington has proven challenging to defeat at home against Oregon State Beavers, winning their last four matches against them. Their defense is led by junior guards Samone Jones and Grace Sarver, who possess solid defensive capabilities, and senior forwards Lindsey McCreary and Tia Gibbons, who can stretch defenses with their range.

This game will be crucial for the Huskies as it will determine their fate in the conference tournament and who they face next in the Pac-12 Championship game on December 15th. Oregon is widely seen as favored to win, though this contest should remain closed throughout.