We are less than two weeks away from the official start of the Pac-12. It will begin a time of increased excitement, exposure and prosperity for the conference.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is July 1 will be the official end of the Pac-10, the most balanced, competitively perfect league in college sports.
Dab your misty eyes and let’s look back at the won-loss records, bowl appearances and championships from 33 years of Pac-10 football.
In the summer of 1978 the Pacific-8 added the University of Arizona and Arizona State to form a 10-team conference. Here’s how the league stacks up in only Pac-10 games after 3+ decades on the gridiron:
(Edit: The above totals were corrected after the original post and do not include vacated or forfeited games. For the complete records including sanctions go here.)
No one is closer to exactly .500 than Arizona. That about sums up the last 33 years for Wildcat fans.
Here is each school’s overall football record since expansion:
(These totals were also corrected since the original post. All the following numbers are correct.)
Next we have the bowl records from the Pac-10 era:
(WSU’s bowl record has been corrected since the original post due to reader input. It takes a village!)
The fact that the Bruins and Huskies have been down recently should not be taken for granted. Steve Sarkisian has momentum on his side in Seattle after the Holiday Bowl win but the pressure is really on Rick Neuheisel at UCLA this year.
Upping the ante are the BCS bowl records, and by “BCS” I mean the current five biggest bowls: the Rose, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and BCS Championship Game:
Just in case UCLA was feeling a little too good about itself:
The Pac-10 won four national championships in its 33-year run. USC was voted No. 1 after the 1978, 2003 and 2004 seasons, and Washington was awarded the hardware in 1991.
One of the best parts about the Pac-10 as a football conference was its balance. Every single team won at least a share of at least one league championship. Here’s the full list:
The same balance wasn’t found when 30 Rose Bowl bids were handed out. Tie-breakers apparently don’t take into account a fan base’s level of historical suffering.
It’s interesting that in the last 33 years only four Pac-10 schools have won the Rose Bowl, with only three winning it more than once.
Perhaps the best part about conference realignment for Arizona fans is the Cats now have company on the Pac-12/Big Ten Never-Been-To-The-Rose-Bowl list. Colorado and Utah, the UA’s new Pac-12 South-mates, have never played in the Granddaddy of Them All. Nebraska, however, has. Twice already. The nerve.
I know every one of the Pac-12’s changes was necessary to allow the conference’s member schools to better compete on a national level. I’m on board with Larry Scott’s quest for world domination.
That doesn’t mean I won’t still miss the round-robin schedule. I’ll miss having an on-the-field champion without having to play a conference championship game. I’ll miss the Pac-10.
But hey, Arizona is tied for first on every single all-time Pac-12 list. Let the new era begin.
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Stayed tuned for the basketball numbers and, oh yes, even baseball!
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