As if there’s any doubt as to which football program is most important to the Pac-12, a quick look at the TV ratings from last season should fix that. The four most-viewed conference games in 2017 all included USC.
2017 Pac-12 Football – Most-viewed Conference TV games (millions)
1. Nov. 18 – USC-UCLA, 4M
2. Dec. 1 – Stanford-USC, 3.7M
3. Oct. 14 – USC-Utah, 3.2M
4. Sep. 23 – USC-Cal, 3.1M
5. Oct. 28 – UCLA-Washington, 2.9M
— SportsPac12 (@SportsPac12) June 6, 2018
The top two games on that list aren’t a surprise, as UCLA/USC is probably the most well-known Pac-12 rivalry from a national standpoint and the conference title game between USC and Stanford was held on a Friday night away from the rest of the league championships. Games against California and Utah, neither of which have as large a following as USC, are indicative of the Trojans’ fan interest.
The only other Pac-12 school on the list twice is UCLA, whose loss at Washington in October ranked fifth in terms of total viewers.