November 14, 2011
The new Pac-12 championship trophy made its debut Saturday prior to Oregon's winner-take-all upset at Stanford, and we have to admit, it's definitely one of the more attractive conference championship trophies around.
Built by UCLA alum Archie Held, the stainless steel trophy has a 12-sided base to represent all of the Pac-12's teams and it's "V" shape represents the North and South Divisions.
Held said he wanted the trophy to exude the jubilation of scoring a touchdown, and it almost look like the hands of an official signaling the score:
"I did not want a traditional trophy or cup, I wanted something contemporary, modern and fun," Held said. "I wanted an iconic form, something unique to the Pac-12.
"I started researching other sports trophies and I was really gravitated to the Lombardi Trophy. It has a very clean and elegant design. I am fairly obsessed with form and the strongest forms are simple, elegant designs. They stand the test of time. That's exactly what I was trying to create with the Pac-12 Football Championship Trophy. I wanted to capture all of the emotion of winning with a very clean and simple design."
That certainly beats the alternative interpretation.
The Pac-12 Championship Game is Dec. 2 at the home of the team with the best conference record. After Saturday, it looks like that's going to be Oregon, after the Ducks stated their national championship case by thumping North Division rival Stanford, 53-30, in Palo Alto.
The South Division gets a little more complicated. USC is currently atop the division at 4-2 in conference play, but the Trojans are ineligible for the championship game because of NCAA sanctions. That leaves UCLA and Arizona State in a tie for the honor, and UCLA (5-5 overall, 4-3 in the Pac-12) holds the head-to-head tiebreaker courtesy of a 29-28 win over the Sun Devils two weeks ago.
But watch out for Utah. The Utes got a slow start in their new league, but have won three straight and finish the season against bottom dwellers Washington State and Colorado. UCLA still has to play USC and the Sun Devils, who have lost their last two, have Arizona and Cal remaining. Regardless, the South Division champ is going to be hard-pressed to defeat an Oregon team that appears on a mission to get a rematch with LSU in the BCS title game.