Pac-12 Football For The Holidays
THE CONFERENCE OF CHAMPIONS: To date, seven NCAA champions have been crowned during the 2016-17 academic year. Five of those teams hail from the Pac-12 Conference. Fall team champions from the Pac-12 include OREGON (women’s cross country), USC (women’s soccer), STANFORD (men’s soccer), CALIFORNIA (men’s water polo), STANFORD (women’s volleyball). The other two NCAA titles were won by Northern Arizona (men’s cross country) and Delaware (field hockey) ... Pac-12 members have now combined to win 493 NCAA team titles, far outdistancing the Big Ten (305), SEC (217), Big 12 (170), and ACC (146).
PAC-12 BOWL SUCCESS: The Pac-12 has averaged 6.0 bowl victories each of the last three seasons. The Conference has produced an 18-10 (.643) record over that three-year span. That winning percentage ranks second among the power five conferences behind the SEC (.697).
NORTH vs. SOUTH: WASHINGTON is the first team other than Oregon or Stanford in six seasons to win the Pac-12 North Division ... COLORADO is the fifth different school in the last six years to win the Pac-12 South Division ... It’s worth noting that no team has come through Conference play unscathed since the league expanded to 12 teams. In five of the six seasons of Pac-12 play, the North Division champion finished Conference play with one loss. Only the 2013 season produced a North Division champion with more than one loss when Oregon and Stanford each finished tied at 7-2. While in the South Division, Colorado now joins Arizona State (2013) as the only South Division champions to finish with 8-1 records.
PILING UP THE POINTS: Eighteen times a Pac-12 team has topped 50 points in a game this season ... WASHINGTON STATE has scored 50 or more points in a game a record four times this season. It’s 125 combined points in back-to-back games (69 vs. Arizona, 56 vs. California) are the most ever for the Cougars over two games ... Washington State is averaging 40.3 points per game, the same as its single-season school record of 40.3 ppg set in 2007 ... WASHINGTON, which leads the Pac-12 with 44.5 points per game, is on pace to pass its single-season school record of 41.9 ppg set in 1991. It has scored 40 points or more in 10 games ... CALIFORNIA, COLORADO and USC each scored 40 or more points in a game six times.
35 TD PASSES: Washington’s Jake Browning (42), Washington State’s Luke Falk (37) and California’s Davis Webb (37) have each thrown 35 or more TD passes this season. Nine times over the last three seasons a Pac-12 quarterback has thrown 35 or more TD passes in a season. Prior to the 2014 season, a Pac-12 quarterback tossed 35 or more TD passes just four times. Browning is one touchdown toss shy of matching the Pac-12 single-season record of 43 set last season by California’s Jared Goff.
ALL-PURPOSE X TWO: Since the Conference began keeping all-purpose yardage since 1978, five Pac-12 players have averaged better than 200 all-purpose yards per game for a season, but STANFORD’s Christian McCaffrey is the only player to do it twice. He set the Pac-12 single-season mark last season with 276.0 yards per game when he set the FBS record with 3,864 all-purpose yards, then led the nation again in 2016 with 211.5 yards per game.
GET YOUR KICKS: The Pac-12 swept the national honors in the kicking game in back-to-back seasons. ARIZONA STATE PK Zane Gonzalez earned the Lou Groza Award (UCLA’s Ka’imi Fairbairn won in 2015) as the nation’s top place kicker after a stellar season in which he hit 23-of-25 (.920), including 7-of-9 from 50 yards or beyond. He concluded his career as the FBS career recordholder for career field goals (96) ... UTAH punter Mitch Wishnowsky grabbed the Ray Guy Award (Utah’s Tom Hackett won in 2014 and 2015) as the nation’s top punter. Wishnowsky averaged 48.0 yards per boot, placing 34 of his 60 punts inside the 20-yard line.
PAC-12 FOOTBALL POSTSEASON BOWL SCHEDULE
|Tues., Dec. 27||National Funding Holiday Bowl|
|San Diego, Calif. (Qualcomm Stadium)|
|Minnesota (8-4) vs. WASHINGTON STATE (8-4), 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, ESPN|
|Note: This is WSU’s third appearance in the Holiday Bowl. It beat Texas, 28-20, in 2003 Holiday Bowl.|
|Wed., Dec. 28||Foster Farms Bowl|
|Santa Clara, Calif. (Levi’s Stadium)|
|Indiana (6-6) vs. No. 19 UTAH (8-4), 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT, FOX|
|Note: Utah has won 12 of its last 13 bowl games. Defeated Georgia Tech, 38-10, in 2005 Bay Area game.|
|Thurs., Dec. 29||Valero Alamo Bowl|
|San Antonio, Texas (Alamodome)|
|No. 12 Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. No. 10 COLORADO (10-3), 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, ESPN|
|Note: First bowl game since 2007 Independence Bowl. Buffs are 4-4 in bowl games in Texas.|
|Fri., Dec. 30||Hyundai Sun Bowl|
|El Paso, Texas (Sun Bowl)|
|North Carolina (8-4) vs. No. 18 STANFORD (9-3), 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, CBS|
|Note: Stanford is making its fourth Sun Bowl appearance. Fell to Oklahoma, 31-27, in 2009 game.|
|Sat., Dec. 31||Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl|
|Atlanta, Ga. (Georgia Dome)|
|No. 4 WASHINGTON (12-1) vs. No. 1 Alabama (13-0), 3 p.m. ET/12 noon PT, ESPN|
|Note: Seventh straight year in a bowl game. Fruit salad... has played in Pineapple and Orange Bowls.|
|Mon., Jan. 2||Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual|
|Pasadena, Calif. (Rose Bowl)|
|No. 9 USC (9-3) vs. No. 5 Penn State (11-2), 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT, ESPN|
|Note: 34th Rose Bowl Game appearance with a 24-9 record (2006 win later vacated).|
|Mon., Jan. 9||College Football Championship Game|
|Tampa, Fla. (Raymond James Stadium)|
|Fiesta Bowl winner vs. Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl winner, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, ESPN|