How many Pac-12 teams have ever made the College Football Playoff?

With the Pac-12 dissolving after this academic year, how many teams of their made the College Football Playoff? It is not as many as you may think, but thankfully, they did get a team in this year.

Michael Penix Jr., Washington Huskies
Michael Penix Jr., Washington Huskies / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The Washington Huskies are 13-0 and fresh off a Pac-12 Championship victory over the Oregon Ducks. They may be the least likely team left to win the national championship, but they were absolutely going to be a part of the final four-team College Football Playoff as soon as the clock struck zero in Las Vegas last Friday night. No. 2 Washington will face No. 3 Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

With this being the 10th and final four-team playoff before the college football postseason format expands to 12 teams next year, let's take a look back on how the Pac-12 fared over the last decade. Playoff expansion with upwards of six automatic qualifiers should have been enough to keep the Pac-12 alive, but former Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren had other plans in mind. Fantastic job, man.

While we are eternally grateful that the Pac-12 was able to get a team into the final four-team playoff, all 12 of its conference members will be playing somewhere else next year. Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington are going to the Big Ten. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah are Big 12-bound. Cal and Stanford are joining the ACC with SMU. As for Oregon State and Washington State, it is not great.

So how many Pac-12 teams have made the College Football Playoff before? Only three have done so.

  • 2014 Oregon Ducks
  • 2016 Washington Huskies
  • 2023 Washington Huskies

Let's take a look at how the 2014 Ducks and the 2016 Huskies fared in preview of 2023 Washington.

Pac-12 sends Washington as its final team into College Football Playoff

The 2014 Oregon team was coached by Chip Kelly's predecessor Mark Helfrich. They were led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota. Oregon went 11-1 that season with a home loss to Arizona, a Wildcats team they would beat in the Pac-12 title bout in Santa Clara. Oregon was matched up with an undefeated reigning national champion Florida State team over in the Rose Bowl.

Mariota and the Ducks outclassed Jameis Winston and the rest of Jimbo Fisher's team. That would be the beginning of the end for Fisher's run of dominance in the ACC, as the 'Noles went on roughly a decade-long swoon once he left for Texas A&M. Not until recently have the Seminoles been back to playing at a national title contender level under Mike Norvell. They just missed out on the playoffs...

Oregon would take on No. 4 Ohio State in the national title bout. It was all Buckeyes, as Urban Meyer secured his third national championship in his illustrious college coaching career. That Ohio State team was led by sophomore sensations like Ezekiel Elliott and Joey Bosa. Cardale Jones was the magnificent third-string quarterback who led them to glory. Oregon regressed massively after this.

While the Ducks have not been back to the playoffs since, they have been close a few times, whether that be under Dan Lanning or his predecessor Mario Cristobal previously. Right after Ohio State beat Oregon to win the inaugural College Football Playoff, that is when the Huskies began their run under Chris Peterson. The 2016 Huskies also went 11-1 with a tough home loss to USC in mid-November.

They would go on to throttle Colorado in the Pac-12 Championship to secure the No. 4 seed. Washington was not a strong No. 4 seed, but the Big 12 did not have a team worthy of getting in either. The Huskies were clearly deserving, but were essentially fed to the wolves vs. No. 1 Alabama in the Peach Bowl. Peterson was outclassed by Nick Saban in a stadium Alabama knows all too well.

So yes, it had been seven long and painful years for the Pac-12 between Washington's two playoff berths to date. Teams like Oregon, USC and Washington have all had good teams between now and then, but it wasn't until U-Dub went 13-0 with Michael Penix Jr. under center and Kalen DeBoer on the sidelines had the Pac-12 gotten a team in. If Washington wins its next two games, it will be legendary.

Washington is certainly good enough to win it all, but the Huskies are the least likely team to do it.

Next. SL 25 best stadiums to watch a college football game. 25 best stadiums to watch a college football game. dark