• phil cantor/@osgphil

The Pac 12 Conference Championship game isn't for the Championship now, right?



What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?


Yeah, we all know this week is College Football's version of "championship week" in that we're going to play a bunch of conference championship games. But for almost all the FBS conferences in existence, it means the two best teams are playing.


Thanks to COVID and the stubbornness of the Pac 12 conference, we'll see their championship game feature the undefeated USC Trojans...and the Pac 12 North runners up, the Oregon Ducks.


In case you are wondering, the champs of the north, Washington, yeah, they have a COVID-19 problem and won't have enough offensive linemen cleared to play this coming Friday night in Los Angeles.


There are so, so many questions here?


One: If you aren't actually playing for a title, why are you playing at all? What if Oregon beats USC this week, does that make the Ducks champs? How could it? The two teams haven't played this season, but how could USC NOT be the Pac 12 champs no matter the result Friday night. How could Oregon leapfrog Washington in the standings if the two teams didn't play (game was cancelled) but the Huskies have one less conference loss?


For that matter, the conference has gotten the Colorado Buffalos to be in LA this week....just in case. In case the Trojans can't play.




You see, before the announcement Monday afternoon that Washington wasn't going to be able to play, the Pac 12 had Oregon and Colorado come to Los Angeles and prepare to potentially play each other. But also be there in case one of the championship teams couldn't play. Which is what happened.


Now, this is hypothetical, but what if USC can't play? Do Oregon and Colorado play for the Pac 12 Championship? Is it just a regular season game? If the game doesn't actually mean anything will anyone go? It's not like a College Football Playoff berth is at stake. Though I'd argue USC has as good a case as Clemson or Texas A&M though with several fewer games.


I know we're in a COVID world where very few things actually make sense, but this is funny, but all a legitimate question. How can a championship game be a championship game if it doesn't feature the two division champs?


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