The SSG College Football league, using Wolverine Studios Draft Day Sports: College Football 2020, kicks off with coaching hiring in February. It has real teams but fictional players and in order to give these fictional players a history the league actually began play with the 2014 season and quick-simmed five years of history to bring us to the start of the 2019 season which will played as a kind of a trial run through over the first 6 months of the year before the 2020 season starts, as it does in real life, in the late summer.
To get you up to speed on how the college football landscape evolved over the past five years here is the second in a series of recaps looking at each conference.
The PAC 12 Conference
You must excuse the SSG PAC12 Conference if it feels it has a bit of an inferiority complex compared to the rest of the Power Five when it comes to making the playoff. Only one Pac-12 member, Utah in 2016, has been invited to the postseason in the 5 years of the new SSG College Football playoff. The SSG Mountain West conference has the same number of appearances as Pac-12 teams and the SSG American Athletic Conference has more with UCF going twice. The ACC leads the way with 5 entrants followed by the Big 10 and Big 12 with 4 each and the SEC has sent a school to the playoff on 3 occasions.
Further adding to the Pac-12’s inferiority complex is a 1-4 record in the Rose Bowl, made even worse by the fact that in each of the last 4 seasons the Big 10 sent it’s second best team as the top club in the conference was in the playoff. The one year the Pac-12 did have a playoff school it was knocked off by the Big Ten as Ohio State thumped Utah 51-13 in the semi-final.
As for action within the conference, the PAC-12 has actually been a pretty balanced group with 5 different schools making an appearance in the title game and 3 different squads – Stanford, Utah and most recently Arizona State – tasting victory. SSG Stanford has been the class of the North Division, posting the best cumulative conference record at 36-8. The Cardinal have made 3 trips to the Rose Bowl, losing in 2014 and 2016 but providing their conference it’s only victory in the 2015 game: a 33-20 triumph over Michigan State.
After winning the North Division for three straight seasons, Stanford has taken a backseat to their traditional rivals from Cal. The Bears endured a couple of lean seasons early including a dismal 1-7 (4-8 overall) 2015 campaign. The last two years California won the division but lost in the Conference Championship game both times. Still after back to back 11-3 seasons and finishing tops among Pac-12 schools at #11 in the year end overall rankings, the Bears have to be one of the favorites to return to the title contest.
It seems like everyone in the South Division has had a down year over the past 5 seasons although Utah, which had it’s sting of 3 consecutive trips to the Conference title game come to an end last season, has been the most consistent team. Arizona State was the surprise Conference Champion last season as the Sun Devils set a modern SSG College Football school record for victories by going 9-5 overall including 6-2 in conference action.
Here are the all-time SSG PAC 12 Conference standings as well as the results of the 5 conference titles games that have been played.
Next up: The SSG SEC.