Forget about it, Seattle; the Bay Area gets the first shot at the latest conference to move its flagship football game to a neutral site.
As was speculated earlier this month, the Pac-12 officially announced Thursday that its football championship game will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The stadium, which opens this August and will serve as the home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, will play host to the Dec. 5 game this year as well as the games in 2015 and 2016.
At the end of those three years, the conference will look to either extend its agreement with the stadium, move to another stadium in its footprint — or even rotate the games (unlikely) — or return to where the first three league championship games were played: in the home stadiums of the team with the best conference record.
For now, however, the Pac-12 will call Santa Clara home for its regular-season finale through the 2016 season.
“ac-12 football is among the deepest and best football conferences in the country,” said commissioner Larry Scott in a statement. “Our Football Championship Game is important for selecting a team for the Rose Bowl and possibly the College Football Playoff, and we are thrilled to offer student-athletes and their fans the ultimate venue to culminate a successful season.”
In addition to Santa Clara and Seattle, Las Vegas and Phoenix were mentioned as potential locations.
(Photo credit: Pac-12)
Auburn got back in the win column after two straight losses. While winning a game must have felt nice, head coach Gus Malzahn is not prepared to say whether or not Sean White will be the team’s starting quarterback moving forward.
“I thought he competed; he did some good things,” Malzahn said after the game Saturday, per Al.com. “We’ll take this thing week-to-week like we’ve been doing it. We’re starting to kind of get good answers to the questions that we needed.”
White replaced Jeremy Johnson at quarterback last week against Mississippi State. Johnson, a preseason Heisman favorite for some, struggled out of the gate of the season with six interceptions thrown and a lost fumble. That forced Malzahn to make a change at quarterback after a woeful performance against FCS Jacksonville State and a loss to LSU. White lost his first game as a starter against Mississippi State but the offense has been marginally better. White has yet to throw a touchdown pass in his first two starts.
Against San Jose State, White completed six of 10 pass attempts for 1087 yards. Auburn’s running game is what helped push the Tigers by the Spartans, with Peyton Barber scoring all five touchdowns in the 35-21 victory. Auburn’s next game is in two weeks against Kentucky, on Thursday, October 15 in Lexington.
The Ohio State Buckeyes remain atop the AP Top 25 this week, but the Big 12’s top contenders have bumped Michigan State down two spots. No. 2 TCU picked up five first-place votes and managed to stay ahead of No. 3 Baylor despite the Bears getting 10 first-place votes.
No. 5 Utah picked up seven first-place votes and No. 9 Texas A&M received the last first-place vote available. The big mover in this week’s AP poll was No. 11 Florida, with the Gators jumping 14 spots in the poll after dismantling Ole Miss Saturday night. The Rebels dropped from No. 3 down to No. 14. No. 15 Notre Dame fell nine spots after losing at No. 6 Clemson. No. 19 Georgia also tumbled this week, down 11 spots after being blown out at home by Alabama. It was also a rough week for No. 20 UCLA, falling 13 spots after losing to Arizona State at home.
New teams in the AP poll this week include No. 22 Iowa, No. 24 Toledo and No. 25 Boise State. Iowa and Boise State also made appearances in the coaches poll earlier today, but Toledo did not. Memphis appears in the coach spill but is the third team in its own conference in the others receiving votes category, behind Houston and Temple. Memphis tied with division foe Navy in that category as well.
- Ohio State (38 first-place votes)
- TCU (5)
- Baylor (10)
- Michigan State
- Utah (7)
- Texas A&M (1)
- Florida State
- Ole Miss
- Notre Dame
- Oklahoma State
- Boise State