Regular Season Winner Historically Holds Advantage In Pac-12 Title Game
SALT LAKE CITY – They always say it’s difficult to beat the same team twice but in the Pac-12, that’s far from the truth.
The Pac-12 Championship game was started in 2011 when the conference expanded from 10 to 12 teams and created the title game. Since that time, the two teams playing in the championship game played each other during the regular season seven times.
Of those seven occasions, six of them have beat the other team both times in the same season and are 6-1 in that scenario.
Utah beat Oregon 38-7 on November 20 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Friday’s title game will be the eighth time this has happened.
Pac-12 Title Game Rematches From Regular Season Meeting
The first time that the two Pac-12 title game participants met twice in one season was in 2012. Stanford beat the Bruins at the Rose Bowl on November 24, 35-17. They met six days later in Palo Alto for the Pac-12 title and the Cardinal prevailed with a 27-24 victory.
The 2013 season was the second time this happened when Stanford knocked off Arizona State 42-28 at home in late September. The Cardinal beat the Sun Devils again in the title game in Tempe with a 38-14 win.
Surprisingly enough, the one time the regular season winner didn’t win the rematch in the title game was in 2014 when Oregon lost to Arizona 31-24 at home. The Ducks were 4-0 before that defeat and then went on to win seven straight to end the regular season. In the rematch with the Wildcats in the title game, Oregon picked up a 51-13 and eventually reached the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship game before losing to Urban Meyer and Ohio State.
During the 2015 season, Stanford beat USC at the Coliseum 41-31 in late September and beat the Trojans again in Santa Clara, California, 41-22 to win the conference title.
In 2017, USC took care of Stanford at home in the regular season, 42-24. When the had the rematch in the championship game, the Trojans beat the Cardinal 31-28. That was the only team from the South Division to win the conference title since the league expanded to 12 teams.
Utah fans will not want to remember this but in 2018, Washington went to Rice-Eccles Stadium and picked up a 21-7 win on September 15. Then the Huskies beat the Utes 10-3 in the championship game. That was the first Pac-12 title game appearance for Utah.
Pac-12 Title Games That Didn’t Have A Regular Season Meeting In Same Year
The first time that the two title game participants didn’t meet in the regular season was when Oregon won the inaugural Pac-12 Championship after beating UCLA, those two teams didn’t meet in the 2011 regular season.
The second time was in 2016 when Washington beat Colorado 41-10 in Santa Clara.
Utah fans will want to forget the third time this happened. That was back in 2019 when the Utes and Ducks didn’t play each other in the regular season but Oregon beat Utah 37-15 in the title game.
The last time this happened was in the COVID-shortened 2020 season when Oregon replaced Washington in the championship game and faced USC. The conference schedule was all division opponents and one game against the opposing division. The Ducks and Trojans didn’t see each other in the regular season but Oregon picked up a 31-24 victory in Los Angeles in the title game.
Pac-12 Championship Game History
- 2011: Oregon 49, UCLA 31
- 2012: Stanford 27, UCLA 24
- 2013: Stanford 38, Arizona State 14
- 2014: Oregon 51, Arizona 13
- 2015: Stanford 41, USC 22
- 2016: Washington 41, Colorado 10
- 2017: USC 31, Stanford 28
- 2018: Washington 10, Utah 3
- 2019: Oregon 37, Utah 15
- 2020: Oregon 31, USC 24
Utah and Oregon will meet in the 2021 Pac-12 Championship game on Friday, December 3 at 6 p.m. on ABC.
Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.
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