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McLaughlin: Does Pac-12 Football need its own playoff?

Plus an evaluation of the longest-tenured football coach in the Pac-12, Utah's Kyle Whittingham

Posted on June 7, 2022


  By Spencer McLaughlin of Locked on CFB for SuperWest Sports

A mailbag question comes into the show asking about the possibility of moving to an eight-game conference schedule and making a 4-team playoff for the Pac-12 Championship.

Pac-12An idea not first thrown out into the ether for the Conference of Champions, it’s the sort of rule change that might be trying to fix something that isn’t broken.

The appropriate rule change for determining a Conference champion was already made a couple of weeks ago, making the game between the 2 teams with the highest conference winning % regardless of division.

In today’s episode of Locked On Pac-12, I also take a look at the longest-tenured football coach in the Pac-12: Kyle Whittingham has been the lead man for the Utah Utes for 18 seasons, including their entire time as a Pac-12 team after coming over from the Mountain West.

He has never won fewer than 5 games as Utah’s head coach, and in recent years has started to garner national respect. It should not be a shock that he gets the highest grade to date of any Pac-12 coach I evaluated so far, and challenging his long-tenured success is quite difficult.

The recruiting has been solid since the Utes moved to the Power-5 level, but it’s been Whittingham’s consistent player development—and getting the most out of his recruits—that has allowed him to have such great success.

His defenses have been stellar, and when the offense can just come close to the defense’s level, you get seasons like 2021 in which they finally captured that elusive first Pac-12 Championship.

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—More from Spencer McLaughlin—