The PAC-12 Conference held a fan voting contest to decide the logo for the new conference’s inaugural football championship game. Just over one-third of participating fans chose arguably the most conservative of the four logo designs, making it the winner and the face of the game for at least the upcoming season. Here it is:
The winning logo narrowly edged a proposed graphic that appears to be inspired by the old PAC-10 logo, which was used until the beginning of the 2010-11 academic year. The spikes of sunshine look like a clear homage to the conference’s recent history.
The remaining two logo options garnered significantly less support from conference supporters (the two combined for less than 35% of the total votes), and probably rightfully so. The third-place finisher looks like a love child of ESPN and Fox. In other words, there’s lots of concrete, sheet metal, and screws involved in a design that still ends up remarkably shiny. Never mind that manufacturing is not exactly the trademark of the West Coast.
The result is a strange mixture of industrial and futuristic elements in a design that doesn’t exactly give off the timeless vibe, but looks ready-made for television.
Finally, the last-place logo attempts to suggest an artificial relationship between the conference championship game and the Super Bowl through its use of Roman numerals to write the year 2011:
And, for good measure, the logo of the most recent Super Bowl:
While the PAC-12’s version does not feature Cowboys Stadium or the Vince Lombardi Trophy, as the Super Bowl logo does, even the profile view of a football in the PAC-12 mark conjures up images of professional pigskin. It’s also difficult to imagine a way in which the MMXI logo could be reproduced in a smaller size. Doing so would likely render the logo unreadable or force designers to crop out necessary elements of the design, like the numerals.
The conference championship game itself will take place on Friday, December 2, on the home field of the team with the best conference record among the 12 member schools. The game will feature the winner of the North division against the winner of the South for the conference championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl.