The Pac-12′s first-ever football championship game is scheduled for Friday, December 2, 2011 at the home stadium of the team with the best conference record. The game will feature the North division champion against the South division champion. The divisional champions will be determined based on record in all Conference games (both divisional and cross-divisional). (Source: FOX)
For the 6-6 UCLA Bruins, it is either win this game and become Pac 12 Champions and play in the Rose Bowl or lose and not even qualify for a Bowl game. It is simply amazing what had to happen for UCLA to win the Pac 12 South and qualify for the inaugural Pac 12 Championship game. First, arch-rival USC would have easily qualified had they not been on probation and ineligible for the game. Secondly, Arizona St had the division well in hand at the end of October with a 4-1 record but the Sun Devils lost 4 straight games to choke away their lead. Thirdly, Colorado upset Utah last week in Salt Lake City 17-14. It was the first road win for the Buffaloes since 2007. The Utes missed 3 field goals in the loss. All of those things handed the title to the Bruins who lost 2 out of 3 games down the stretch. UCLA fired coach Rick Neuheisel this week but he will coach in the championship game.
The Bruins opponent in the game will be the high powered Oregon Ducks who are 10-2 and ranked #9 in the BCS standings. Oregon only has losses to #1 LSU and USC this season under Coach Chip Kelly. The Ducks had plans of returning to the National Championship game until the 38-35 loss to USC ended those dreams a couple of weeks ago. UCLA leads the series 39-25 against Oregon but Oregon has won 9 of the last meetings against UCLA and 3 straight including 60-13 last year in Eugene. The two teams haven’t played each other this year.