The Pac-12 had the worst bowl season ever for a Power-5 Conference, topping the Big Ten's 1-6 record in 2008.

By Khadrice Rollins
December 30, 2017

This bowl season was one that Pac-12 teams would not mind forgetting.

With three-fourths of the conference headed to bowl games, there was potential for the Pac-12 to have an impressive showing and prove that despite not having a team qualify for the College Football Playoff, it is still one of the better Power-5 conferences. Instead, Utah was the only one of the nine teams to win its bowl game and the Pac-12 ended the bowl season with the worst record ever for a Power-5 Conference for an entire bowl season.

Washington had a chance to stop the Pac-12 from reaching this point in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against Penn State, but the Huskies lost 35-28 after turning it over inside Penn State territory with five seconds remaining. The Nittany Lions had missed a field goal with less than 40 seconds left, leaving the door open for Washington. The Huskies appeared to pick up a first down on a fourth and 10 with time running out by using a hook-and-ladder that saw wide receiver Aaron Fuller make a catch and then pitch it to Dante Pettis. However, when Pettis sprinted toward the sideline and looked to extend the play with a lateral after he crossed the 50, he tossed the ball right into the arms of Penn State's Brandon Smith, sealing a 1-8 bowl season for the Pac-12.

The previous record was set in 2008 when Big Ten teams went 1-6. That year Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State all suffered losses in their bowl games while Iowa was the only team to walk away victorious.

This year the Pac-12 saw Oregon, UCLA, Arizona, Stanford, Washington State, Arizona State, USC and Washington all lose and the Utes be the only team to pick up a win. Stanford, Washington State, USC and Washington were all ranked in the top 20 in the final College Football Playoff rankings and fell to other ranked opponents.

The Pac-12 was outscored by a combined 87 points in the nine games with Washington State's 25-point loss to Michigan State being the most lopsided of the defeats. Stanford and Arizona lost by two and three points respectively and Arizona State, UCLA  and USC lost by 21, 18 and 17 points respectively.

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