Without a doubt the SEC was the dominant conference in the BCS Championship era winning nine championships out of 11 appearances, which included the conference winning seven straight. The ACC was perfect, granted both wins were by Florida State (1999 and 2013), but the conference was represented well. The Big 12 appeared in seven and won two. The Big 10 and even the old Big East (now American Athletic Conference) both appeared in three games and came away with at least one victory. Not a good percentage, but there is hardware in the trophy case. Ohio State defeated Miami in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl and the Miami Hurricanes trounced Nebraska in the 2002 Rose Bowl.
Notice a power conference missing? Oh yeah, the PAC-12. Now, some may ask, “what about USC?” That is very true, but you can’t give credit to something that doesn’t exist. Considering the sanctions that came down on USC for NCAA violations of Reggie Bush vacated those championships, those championships can’t and won’t count.
The PAC-12 had their opportunities to win the big one both times, but each team (USC and Oregon) lost on the final drive. In the 2006 Rose Bowl, Vince Young led Texas on a last minute drive to win. Even if USC had won it would have been vacated do to the sanctions. Oregon in the 2011 BCS Championship game, allowed Heisman winning quarterback Cam Newton to lead Auburn to a winning field goal.
What can the teams in the PAC-12 do to get over the top? Or are they right there to have the opportunity to have a team win the national championship? According to the Head Coach of the Colorado Buffaloes, Mike MacIntyre, “We’re talented enough. We have prenominal coaches in our league. We’re the league of quarterbacks. So I believe this year will be the year we’ll have the chance to do it…” and they certainly do. In the preseason AP poll the PAC-12 conference has six teams ranked in the Top 25, which is more than any other power conference other than you know who (SEC).
The PAC-12 teams in the Top 25 all have experience at the quarterback position with the exception of Washington, who will rely on sophomore Cyler Miles to be their signal caller. Preseason Heisman candidates senior Marcus Mariota and Junior Brett Hundley are at the top of the list of leading there teams to the College Football Playoffs and a chance for bringing their and the conference a national championship.