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Pacific-12 Conference

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The Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12) is a college athletic conference that operates in the Western United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I; its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A), the higher of two levels of NCAA Division I football competition. The conference's 12 members (which are primarily flagship research universities in their respective regions, well-regarded academically, and with relatively large student enrollment) compete in 22 NCAA sports. It was founded as the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC), in 1915, which principal members founded the (Athletic Association of Western Universities) (AAWU) in 1959, and went by the names Big Five, Big Six, Pacific-8, Pacific-10, becoming the Pacific-12 in 2011.

The "Conference of Champions," the Pac-12 has won more NCAA National Team Championships than any other conference in history; the top three schools with the most NCAA team championships belong to the Pac-12 (UCLA, Stanford and USC, in that order). With Arizona State's softball title in 2011, the conference won its 400th NCAA Championship.

The current commissioner of the conference is Larry Scott who replaced Thomas C. Hansen, who retired in July 2009 after 26 years in that position.[1] Prior to joining the Pac-10, Scott was Chairman and CEO of the Women's Tennis Association.[2]


Full members

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Endowment Annual Research[3] Nickname NCAA Team
University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona 1885 Public 38,057 [5] &0000000436600000000000$436,600,000 [6] &0000000545869000000000$545,869,000 Wildcats 18
Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 1885 Public 70,440 [7] &0000000515000000000000$515,000,000 [8] &0000000259503000000000$259,503,000 Sun Devils 23
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, California 1868 Public 35,843 [9] &0000003150000000000000$3,150,000,000 [6][10] &0000000591770000000000$591,770,000 Golden Bears 34
University of Colorado at Boulder Boulder, Colorado 1876 Public 29,952 [11] &0000000785000000000000$785,000,000 [6] &0000000454000000000000$454,000,000 Buffaloes 22
University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon 1876 Public 23,389 [12] &0000000467000000000000$467,000,000 [6] &0000000067378000000000$67,378,000 Ducks 19
Oregon State University Corvallis, Oregon 1868 Public 23,671 [13] &0000000412000000000000$412,000,000 [14] &0000000188056000000000$188,056,000 Beavers 3
Stanford University Stanford, California 1891 Private 19,535 [15] &0000012620000000000000$12,620,000,000 [6] &0000000688225000000000$688,225,000 Cardinal 103
University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California 1919 Public 39,593 [16] &0000002980000000000000$2,980,000,000 [6][10] &0000000871478000000000$871,478,000 Bruins 108
University of Southern California Los Angeles, California 1880 Private 36,896 [17] &0000003500000000000000$3,500,000,000 [6] &0000000519543000000000$519,543,000 Trojans 96
University of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah 1850 Public 30,819[18] &0000000668000000000000$668,000,000 [6] &0000000253891000000000$253,891,000 Utes 20
University of Washington Seattle, Washington 1861 Public 47,361[19] &0000002930000000000000$2,930,000,000 [6] &0000000765135000000000$765,135,000 Huskies 6
Washington State University Pullman, Washington 1890 Public 27,329[20] &0000000619700000000000$619,700,000 [6] &0000000276806000000000$276,806,000 Cougars 2

Affiliate members

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Current Conference Pac-12 Sports
Boise State University Boise, Idaho 1932 Public 19,667 Broncos Mountain West Wrestling
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, California 1901 Public 19,777 Mustangs Big West Men's Swimming and Diving, Wrestling
California State University, Bakersfield Bakersfield, California 1965 Public 7,493 Roadrunners Independent Wrestling
San Diego State University San Diego, California 1897 Public 34,500 Aztecs Mountain West Men's Soccer
University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, California 1909 Public 20,559 Gauchos Big West Men's Swimming and Diving

The San Diego State men's soccer program will leave the Pac-12 for the Big West Conference in 2015, two years after it rejoins that conference as a full member.[21]

Former members

No school has left the Pacific-12 since its founding as the AAWU in 1959. Two members of the PCC never joined the AAWU.

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Conference Membership Current Conference
University of Idaho Moscow, Idaho 1889 Public 11,957 Vandals 1922–1959 WAC
University of Montana Missoula, Montana 1893 Public 14,921 Grizzlies 1924–1950 Big Sky



Pacific Coast Conference

The roots of the Pac-12 Conference go back to December 2, 1915, when the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) was founded at a meeting at the Imperial Hotel in Portland, Oregon.[22] Charter members were the University of California (now University of California, Berkeley), the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University). The conference began play in 1916.

One year later, Washington State College (now Washington State University) joined the league, followed by Stanford University in 1918.

In 1922, the PCC expanded to eight teams with the admission of USC and Idaho. Montana joined the Conference in 1924, and in 1928, the PCC grew to 10 members with the addition of UCLA.

For many years, the conference split into two divisions for basketball—a Southern Division comprising the four California schools and a Northern Division comprising the six schools in the Pacific Northwest.

In 1950, Montana departed to join the Mountain States Conference. The PCC continued as a nine-team league through 1958.

AAWU (Big Five and Big Six)

Following a "pay-for-play" scandal at several PCC institutions (specifically California, USC, UCLA and Washington), the PCC disbanded in 1959. When those four and Stanford started talking about forming a new conference, retired Admiral Thomas J. Hamilton interceded and suggested the schools consider creating a "power conference." Nicknamed the "Airplane Conference", the five PCC schools would have played with other big schools including Army, Navy, Air Force, Notre Dame, Penn, Penn State, Duke, and Georgia Tech among others. The effort fell through when a Pentagon official vetoed the idea and the service academies backed out.[23]

On July 1, 1959 the new Athletic Association of Western Universities was formed, with California, Stanford, UCLA, USC, and Washington as charter members. The conference also was popularly known as the Big Five from 1960 to 62;[24] when Washington State joined in 1962, the conference was then informally known as the Big Six.[24]


Oregon and Oregon State joined in 1964. With the addition of the two Oregon schools, the conference became known unofficially as the Pacific-8 (as there already was a Big Eight Conference). Idaho was never invited to join the AAWU; the Vandals were independent for four years until the formation of the Big Sky Conference in 1963.

In 1968, the AAWU formally renamed itself the Pacific-8 Conference, or Pac-8 for short.


File:Pacific-10 Conference logo.png

In 1978, the conference added WAC schools Arizona and Arizona State, to create the Pacific-10 Conference or Pac-10.

In the mid-1990s the conference expressed interest in admitting the University of Colorado, as well as the University of Texas after the collapse of the Southwest Conference. Texas expressed an interest in joining a strong academic conference, but joined three fellow SWC schools (Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Baylor) to combine with the Big Eight Conference to form the Big 12 Conference in 1996. Colorado elected at the time to remain in the newly-formed Big 12 Conference.[25]

Before the addition of Colorado and Utah in 2011, only one Division I conference, the Ivy League, had maintained its membership for a longer time than the Pac-10. Commissioner Larry Scott said on February 9, 2010, that the window for expansion by the conference was open for the next year as the conference began negotiations for a new television deal. Speaking on a conference call to introduce former Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg as his new deputy, Scott talked about possibly adding new teams to the conference and launching a new television network. Scott, the former head of the Women’s Tennis Association, took over the conference in July 2009. In his first eight months on the job, he saw growing interest from the membership over the possibility of adding teams for the first time since Arizona and Arizona State joined the conference in 1978.


In early June 2010, there were reports that the Pac-10 would be considering adding up to six teams to the conference, including Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, or possibly Baylor University and Texas A&M University.[26][27]

On June 10, 2010, the University of Colorado at Boulder officially accepted an invitation to join the Pac-10 Conference, effective in the 2012–2013 academic year.[28][29] The school later announced it would join the conference a year earlier than previously announced, in the 2011-2012 academic year.

On June 15, 2010, a deal was reached between Texas and the Big 12 Conference to keep Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the Big 12. Following Texas' decision, the other Big 12 schools that had been rumored candidates to join the Pac-10 announced they would remain in the Big 12. This deal effectively ended the Pac-10's ambition to potentially become a sixteen-team conference.[30]

On June 17, 2010, the University of Utah officially accepted an invitation to join the Pac-10 Conference, effective in the 2011–2012 school year.[28] Utah was a member of the WAC with Arizona and Arizona State before those two left for the Pac-10. The Utes joined the Pac-12 from the Mountain West Conference. Utah is also the first "BCS Buster" to join a BCS conference, having played in (and won) two BCS games beforehand, and one of the first to leave the MWC, of which Utah was a charter member.

On July 27, 2010, the conference unveiled a new logo and announced that the Pac-10 would be renamed to the Pac-12 when two new universities would join the conference. On October 21, 2010 the Pac-12 announced that it would be divided into two divisions for purposes of football, with the North Division consisting of the schools in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California and the South Division consisting of Colorado, Utah, and the schools in Arizona and Southern California. On July 1, 2011 the Pac-12 assumed its current alignment when both Colorado and Utah officially joined as full members.

To this day, the Pac-12 claims the PCC's history as its own. It inherited the PCC's berth in the Rose Bowl, and the eight largest schools in the old PCC all eventually joined the new league. However, the older league had a separate charter.

The Pac-12 is one of the founding members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, a conference organized to provide competition in non-revenue Olympic sports. All Pac-12 members participate in at least one MPSF sport (men's and women's indoor track and field both actually have enough participating Pac-12 schools for the conference to sponsor a championship, but the Pac-12 has opted not to do so), and for certain sports, the Pac-12 admits certain schools as Associate Members.

Membership timeline

University of UtahUniversity of Colorado at BoulderArizona State UniversityUniversity of ArizonaUniversity of California, Los AngelesUniversity of MontanaUniversity of IdahoUniversity of Southern CaliforniaStanford UniversityWashington State UniversityWashington State UniversityOregon State UniversityOregon State UniversityUniversity of OregonUniversity of OregonUniversity of WashingtonUniversity of California, Berkeley

NCAA national titles

File:NCAA titles.jpg
School Team Individual
Men Women Total Men Women Total
Arizona 61117 6284146
Arizona State 111223 6143104
California 2553013562197
Colorado 2022210612 118
Oregon 135187824 102
Oregon State 303327 39
Stanford 6140101262177 439
UCLA 7137108162100 262
USC 80149430360 363
Utah 119207024 94
Washington 1675515 70
Washington State 202806 86
Conference total 3021404421406 614 2020
  • through 2010-11 season (updated at end of school year)[4][31][32]
  • combined championships are counted in the men column

These totals do not include football national championships, which the NCAA does not officially declare at the FBS level. Various polls, formulas, and other third-party systems have been used to determine national championships, not all of which are universally accepted.

Southern California claims 11 national football championships,[33] California claims 5,[34][35] Washington claims 2,[36][37] and Colorado, Stanford, and UCLA each claim 1.[38][39][40][40][41][42]

Conference champions

Rivalries in other sports

All of the intra-conference rivalries in football are carried over into other sports.

During the 1970s, UCLA and Notre Dame had an intense men's basketball rivalry. For several years, it was the only non-conference game in Division I basketball that was played twice a season (home-and-away). The most famous game in the rivalry was on January 19, 1974, when Notre Dame scored the last 12 points of the game to nip UCLA and end the Bruins' record 88-game winning streak. This rivalry is now dormant, partly because Notre Dame is no longer independent in sports other than football (Big East).

In baseball, there are intense rivalries between the four southern schools. Arizona, Arizona State, USC, and UCLA have long and successful histories in baseball and all have won national titles in the sport. The most intense series is widely regarded to be the "Basebrawl" series between USC and Arizona State in 1990. Arizona State swept the series and in the final game a bench clearing brawl spread quickly to the stands and made national headlines. Several were injured and riot police were called to end the fracas.

Washington and California have a longstanding rivalry in men's crew as the two traditionally dominant programs on the West Coast.

Due to the unique geographic nature of the Pac-12 teams, the teams travel in pairs for road basketball games. For example, on Thursday, February 28, 2008, USC played Arizona and UCLA played Arizona State. Two nights later the teams switched and USC played Arizona State and UCLA played Arizona. The teams are paired as follows: USC and UCLA (the L.A. teams), Arizona and Arizona State (the Arizona teams), California and Stanford (the Bay Area teams), Washington and Washington State (the Washington teams), Oregon and Oregon State (the Oregon teams), and Colorado and Utah (the Rocky Mountain teams). Usually, the games are played on Thursdays and Saturdays with a game or occasionally two on Sundays for television purposes. This pairing formula is also used in women's volleyball. To make scheduling simpler for men and women's basketball (a sport in which each conference member uses a single venue for both teams' home games), the schedule for women's basketball is the opposite of the men's schedule. For example, when the Oregon schools are hosting the men's teams from the Arizona schools, the Arizona schools host the women's teams from Oregon schools the same weekend.

This formula has made a tradition in conference play to keep track of how a team does against a particular region; and stats are kept at to how successful a team is against, for example, "the Bay Area schools" at home or away. Effective in the 2011-12 season, with the expansion into 12 teams, a 10-year rotation model has been developed to maintain the existing 18-game conference schedule. Teams remained paired with their regional rival. Each school plays its regional rival and six other teams both home and away, and the other four teams once - two at home and two away. The newest members, Colorado and Utah, are paired with each other. The single play opponents rotate every two years.[43]

Conference facilities

School Basketball arena Capacity
Arizona McKale Center 14,545[44]
Arizona State Wells Fargo Arena 10,754[45]
California Haas Pavilion 11,877[46]
Colorado Coors Events Center 11,064[47]
Oregon Matthew Knight Arena 12,369[48]
Oregon State Gill Coliseum 9,604[49]
Stanford Maples Pavilion 7,329[50]
UCLA Pauley Pavilion 12,819[51]
USC Galen Center 10,258[52]
Utah Jon M. Huntsman Center 15,000[53]
Washington Alaska Airlines Arena
at Hec Edmundson Pavilion
Washington State Beasley Coliseum 11,671[55]


Eight of the twelve member schools are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU):[56] The only FBS conference with more AAU members is the Big Ten with 11 out of 12 member institutions having AAU membership.

Additionally, these member schools are also highly ranked nationally and globally by various groups, including the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWR) and QS World University Rankings (QS). The high level of academics at these institutions have led some to call the former Pac-8 or Pac-10 as the "West Coast Ivy League."[57] As of 2011, four Pac-12 institutions are ranked in the top 20 universities in the world, the most out of all conferences outside the Ivy League with Stanford ranked 2nd, UC Berkeley ranked 4th (the highest ranking of any public university), UCLA ranked 12th, and the University of Washington ranked at 16th.[58]



  • Edwin N. Atherton 1940–44
  • Victor O. Schmidt 1944–59




  • Wiles Hallock 1978–83
  • Thomas C. Hansen 1983–2009
  • Larry Scott 2009–2011


  • Larry Scott 2011–present


  1. Thamel, Pete (June 10, 2008). "Pacific-10 Commissioner to Announce His Retirement". The New York Times. 
  2. Pacific-10 Conference Names Larry Scott Commissioner
  4. 4.0 4.1 Summary: National Collegiate/Division I Total Championships
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments NACUBO Endowment Study
  8. Arizona State University - Annual Report 2009-2010
  9. Facts at a glance - UC Berkeley
  10. 10.0 10.1 UC Annual Endowment Report Office of the Treasurer of The Regents'.' Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  11. "At A Glance". University of Colorado Boulder. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 
  13. OSU enrollment shows gains in minority, grad and int'l populations | News & Research Communications | Oregon State University
  15. Stanford University: Common Data Set 2010-2011
  16. Quick Facts - UCLA Undergraduate Admissions
  18. Assessment
  19. Discover the University of Washington — University of Washington -
  20. Quick Facts About WSU, Student Profile - Washington State University
  21. Associated Press (December 12, 2011). "San Diego State joining Big West". Retrieved December 28, 2011. 
  22. (Portland) Oregon Daily Journal, December 3, 1915. "Four Colleges Form Coast Conference at Very Secret Session"
  23. Dunnavant, Keith. "The 50 Year Seduction." Thomas Dunne Books: New York, 2004
  24. 24.0 24.1 NCAA Men's Basketball Records - Division I conference alignment history (PDF copy available at
  25. Mark Wangrin - "Power brokers: How tagalong Baylor, Tech crashed the revolt". San Antonio Express, August 14, 2005
  26. Ratto, Ray (August 13, 2010). "Pac-10 considers becoming Pac-12". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  27. Ratto, Ray (August 8, 2010). "The Pac-10's meet market". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 "University of Utah Joins Pac-10". Pacific-10 Conference. p. 4. 
  30. Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State stay put in Big 12 Conference - ESPN
  31. Summary: National Collegiate/Division I Men's
  32. Summary: National Collegiate/Division I Women's
  33. Template:Cite book
  34. " - Traditions: Cal National Team Champions". University of California Department of Athletics. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  35. Template:Cite book
  36. Template:Cite book
  37. Template:Cite book
  38. "Stanford Official Athletic Site - Traditions: Stanford Cardinal Championships". Stanford University Department of Athletics. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  39. Template:Cite book
  40. 40.0 40.1 Template:Cite book
  41. Template:Cite book
  42. Template:Citation
  44. University of Arizona Wildcats Official Athletic Site
  45. Arizona State Official Athletic Site - Facilities
  46. California Golden Bears - Facilities
  47. Coors Events Center Home - - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado
  48. Matthew Knight Arena - Arena Network
  49. Oregon State Official Athletic Site - Facilities
  50. Stanford University's Official Athletic Site
  51. UCLA BRUINS - Facilities
  52. University of Southern California Official Athletic Site - Facilities
  53. "Huntsman Center". The University of Utah. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  54. University of Washington Official Athletics Site - Facilities
  55. Washington State Cougars Official Athletic Site
  57. [1]
  58. [2]

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