Pac-12 record in College Football Playoff games

Jan 1, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) and linebacker Tony Washington (91) hold up the Rose Bowl trophy.
Jan 1, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) and linebacker Tony Washington (91) hold up the Rose Bowl trophy. / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As FBS fans work to adjust to the new format of the College Football Playoffs, transitioning away from a four-team bracket, let’s take a look back at just how the Pac-12 faired in its teams' appearances in the playoffs.

2015 College Football Playoffs

In the inaugural year of the CFP era, the Pac-12 sent No. 2 Oregon to play against No. 3 Florida State in the semifinals at the Rose Bowl.

The Ducks stormed into Pasadena and broke the hearts, and hopes, of the Seminoles. Oregon, led by Heisman winner Marcus Mariota, defeated FSU 59-20. Florida State failed to score in the final 18 minutes of the game.

It was then Oregon’s turn to be heartbroken. With the team’s attention turned to the Naitonal Championship, Oregon headed to AT&T Stadium where they played against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

OSU was ready for the Ducks and stalled their offensive games. Oregon was only to pull out 20 points in response to Ohio State’s 42, losing the their second chance at the title that decade.

The Pac-12 sat at 1-1 in CFP games.

2017 College Football Playoffs

Oregon’s out-of-state rival Washington made its first appearance in a CFP game just two years later. In the Playoff Semifinal at the Peach Bowl, Washington’s offense floundered, only producing 7 points.

No. 4 Huskies struggled against the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide and lost 24-7.

The Pac-12 dropped from it’s 50 percent success rate in CFP games to a less impressive 1-2 record.

2024 College Football Playoffs

Washington came back to the playoffs in its final year of the four-team structure. Now ranked No. 2, UW was facing the perennial powerhouse No. 3 Texas Longhorns.

Led by Heisman Trophy runner-up Michel Penix Jr., the Huskies outlasted the Horns, winning the semifinal game 37-31. Heading from the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans to the National Championship at the NRG Stadium, Washington had to prepare for the No. 1 team yet again.

This time, UW was facing the top-ranked Michigan Wolverines led by quarterback J.J. McCarthy and head coach Jim Harbaugh.

The Huskies must have a playoff curse though, as Penix only threw for one touchdown in the second quarter. Washington failed to produce points once again and was drubbed by Michigan, losing 34-13 in the title game.

At the closing of the four-team College Football Playoff era, the Pac-12 conference sits at 2-3 in CFP games – both semifinals and finals – with zero national titles. The Pac-12 only has one National Championship victory to its name since the BCS era, starting in 1978, when the USC Trojans won in 2004.

Now that the Pac-12 is dissolving and the CFP landscape is changing, football fans will have to hold out hope that one of their teams wins a championship for a formerly-Pac-12 program.

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