FBS’ Five Lowest Scoring Conference Championship Games

by Mike Ferguson
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Photo courtesy of Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures via Washington athletics

It would have been unthinkable 30 years, but each of the 10 FBS conferences now hold a conference championship game.

The first to do was the SEC in 1992. Since then, others have slowly followed suit.

When it comes to conference title games, there have been some great ones and some laughers. Over the last two days, we’ve been looking at the highest and the lowest-scoring conference title games.

We conclude with the five lowest-scoring title games ever:

5. 1999 Big 12 Championship (28)

(12) Texas 6, (3) Nebraska 22
Date: Dec. 4, 1999
Location: San Antonio, TX
Summary: In a rematch of the inaugural Big 12 Championship, Nebraska’s vaunted “Blackshirt” defense dominated. The Cornhuskers held Texas to 178 total yards on 2.5 yards per play. Nebraska finished with just 289 yards. Quarterback Eric Crouch rushed for both of Nebraska’s touchdowns. Correll Buckhalter finished with 136 yards on the ground in the win. Texas’ lone score came on defense. Ahmad Brooks returned a fumble 20 yards for a score to break up the shutout early in the fourth quarter.

4. 2009 Big 12 Championship (25)

(3) Texas 13, (22) Nebraska 12
Date: Dec. 5, 2009
Location: Arlington, TX
Summary: Points were few and far between in the 2009 Big 12 Championship, but the contest turned out to be a thriller. Trailing 10-6 after three quarters, Nebraska used a pair of field goals by Alex Henery, including a 42-yarder with less than two minutes to play, to take a 12-10 lead. The Cornhuskers appeared to have pulled the upset as time expired on an incomplete pass by Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. Replay review however, determined there was one second remaining. On the game’s final snap, Hunter Lawrence drilled a 46-yard field goal to lift the Longhorns to a 13-12 victory and a spot in the BCS National Championship. The teams combined for just 308 yards and six turnovers.

3. 2010 Conference USA Championship (24)

SMU 7, UCF 17
Date: Dec. 4, 2010
Location: Orlando, FL
Summary: Two schools now known for their explosive offenses, defenses dominated the 2010 Conference USA Championship between UCF and SMU. The Mustangs outgained the Knights, 317-311, but two turnovers proved to be costly. Latavius Murray capped two time-consuming drives with rushing touchdowns for UCF. The Knights took a shutout into the fourth quarter before Kyle Padron’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson put SMU on the board. Bruce Miller finished with two sacks and a forced fumble for the UCF defense. The win gave the Knights their second conference title as a member of Conference USA.

2. 2006 ACC Championship (15)

(11) Wake Forest 9, (22) Georgia Tech 6
Date: Dec. 2, 2006
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Summary: The only conference title game ever not to feature a touchdown, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech combined for five field goals in a slugfest in Jacksonville. After falling behind 6-3 early in the fourth quarter, Wake Forest used a pair of Sam Swank field goals in the final period to prevail and win its first ACC championship since 1970. Swank’s game-winner came from 22 yards out with less than three minutes to play. Neither team recorded 300 yards of offense. Riley Skinner passed for 201 yards in the win. The Wake defense intercepted Georgia Tech quarterback Reggie Ball twice. Linebacker John Abbate finished with 15 tackles, two for loss and a sack for the Demon Deacons in the victory.

1. 2018 Pac-12 Championship

(17) Utah 3, (11) Washington 10
Date: Nov. 30, 2018
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Summary: The lowest scoring conference championship ever comes from a conference traditionally known for offense. The 2018 Pac-12 Championship didn’t feature an offensive touchdown. The difference was a 66-yard interception return for a touchdown by Washington’s Byron Murphy late in the third quarter. The Huskies held Utah to just 188 yards and forced three turnovers. Murphy tallied a pair of interceptions. Although the Washington offense managed just a field goal, it did possess the ball for nearly 39 minutes.

Mike Ferguson is the associate editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.

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