top of page

Sweet 16 - The Best Pac-12 Football Teams Over the Past 30 Years

The Pac-12 has featured many dominant teams over the past 30 years (1991-2020). We present you with the 16 best.

(AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)

Article by WestCoastCFB

1. Washington Huskies (1991)

The 1991 National Champion Huskies went undefeated and posted the best computer metrics of any Pac-10/12 team over the past 30 years with a 26.22 SRS. UW dominated nearly every opponent on their schedule with their closest game coming in a 7 point road win over a Cal team that finished 8th in the country. The Huskies averaged 41.2 points per game that season (absolutely ridiculous given the era) and only allowed 9.2 points per game. They had one 3 game stretch that they outscored opponents 158-3.

2. USC Trojans (2004)

The 2004 Trojans are the only other Pac-10/12 team that went undefeated in the past 30 years and they have a case as arguably the most talented. The Trojans had 4 games decided by 8 points or fewer that season and due to so many close games played, they fall to 2nd on this list. However, when that USC team was locked in they were simply outstanding as we saw in the National Title when they beat Oklahoma 55-19. The Trojans finished the season averaging 38 points per game and allowed 13 PPG.

3. USC Trojans (2003)

The Trojans won their first National Title under Pete Carroll in 2003 when they finished 12-1 and beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl 28-14. Their lone loss came in a triple OT thriller against Cal. Outside of that loss, the Trojans dominated every other opponent as they won by 14 or more points in all 12 wins.

4. USC Trojans (2005)

Reggie Bush was must watch TV every week on his way to the Heisman Award. Between Bush and Matt Leinart, the Trojan offense was unstoppable and averaged 49.1 points per game. Unfortunately, the defense wasn't elite and that led to their downfall in one of the best games ever when USC lost 41-38 to Texas in the Rose Bowl.

5. Oregon Ducks (2014)

The Ducks proved they were for real with a dominant 46-27 win over #7 Michigan State in early September. The Duck train kept rolling, led by the heroics of Heisman winner Marcus Mariota. The high point of the season was a beautiful 59-20 win over Florida State in the Playoffs. Oregon eventually fell in the National Title game but the season will always hold special memories.

6. Oregon Ducks (2010)

Oregon finished a perfect regular season with a 37-20 win over the Beavers and earned the right to take on Cam Newton in the National Title. A controversial call gave Auburn a 22-19 win over Oregon.

7. Oregon Ducks (2012)

As crazy as it sounds, 2012 may have been the best Oregon team under Chip Kelly. The offense was thrilling to watch and scored over 40 points 11 times and 50 or more points 7 times. The season was capped off with a dominant 35-17 win over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.

8. USC Trojans (2008)

If the playoff had been around in 2008, there's a good chance USC would have been National Champs. A 27-21 loss to Oregon State was the only blemish on the record for the Trojans and their defense was maybe the best they ever had under Pete Carroll, allowing just 9 points per game. USC ended up playing in the Rose Bowl and won 38-24 over Penn State.

9. Oregon Ducks (2001)

Many believe Oregon should have been the team that deserved to play 2001 Miami in the National Title and they're probably right. Joey Harrington and the Ducks finished 11-1, 2nd in the Nation and won 38-16 over Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl.

10. Arizona State (1996)

In 1996, Arizona State came excruciatingly close to winning a National Title. The Sun Devils entered the Rose Bowl 11-0 and needed a win over Ohio State to be named National Champs. Ohio State scored a TD in the final minute and the Sun Devils fell 20-17.

11. Washington Huskies (2000)

The 2000 Washington Huskies were one of the most gutsy teams in Pac-10/12 history and had a knack for pulling out close wins with Marques Tuiasosopo at Quarterback. A 34-29 win over Miami and a 34-24 win over Drew Brees and Purdue in the Rose Bowl were memories that Husky fans will remember forever.

12. Stanford (2010)

Andrew Luck and Jim Harbaugh were quite the tandem at Stanford and led the Cardinal to a 12-1 season and a 40-12 win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.

13. Oregon State Beavers (2000)

2000 was the best season in Oregon State history and featured Beaver legends Jonathan Smith, Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh. The Beavers finished 11-1 and destroyed Notre Dame 41-9 in the Fiesta Bowl.

14. USC Trojans (2002)

2002 was the start of the Trojans' dynasty under Pete Carroll and the season didn't start out great as USC found themselves 3-2. Things eventually clicked for USC and at the end of the year they may have been the best team in the country and proved it with a 38-17 win over Iowa in the Orange Bowl.

15. Washington Huskies (2016)

The high-powered Huskies burst on the scene in 2016 and were out for blood. They won 10 of their games by 24 or more points and had both a dominant offense and dominant defense. UW would reach the Playoffs and faced off against an elite Alabama squad where they held their own but came up short.

16. USC Trojans (2006)

The 2006 Trojans were a very good team but lost two disappointing games to UCLA and Oregon State. USC still managed to win the Pac-10 that season and made quick work of Michigan on their way to a 32-18 win in the Rose Bowl.


bottom of page