SANTA CLARA, Calif. - National title implications, a possible Heisman Trophy at stake and a new $1.3 billion stadium to showcase the whole thing.
The Pac-12 had the spotlight to itself Friday night when No. 3 Oregon (11-1) and No. 8 Arizona (10-2) met in the conference championship game at sparkling Levi's Stadium.
The game, which Oregon was leading, 13-0, in the second quarter, ended too late for this edition.
"We have a chance to win a championship," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. "And that's pretty neat."
The Ducks are all but guaranteed a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff with a win, and the selection committee could have a hard time keeping Arizona out if the Wildcats upset Oregon for the second time this season.
For all the success the conference has enjoyed in recent years, the Pac-12 has not celebrated a national champion since Southern California after the 2004 season. Oregon was the last school in the conference to play for a national title, losing to Auburn in the 2011 BCS Championship in Glendale, Ariz.
The start of the playoff era is looking like it could be a big boost to the league's fortunes.