Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Pac 12 Conference

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Division I FBS

West Pacific Mountain

Pac-12 Conference

1959 (1959) 1915 (1915) (as Pacific Coast Conference)

Sports fielded
23 (men's: 11; women's: 12)

The Pac-12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that operates in the Western United States. It participates in 22 NCAA sports 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 are located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. They include each state's flagship public university, four additional public universities, and two private research universities. The conference was created after the disbanding of the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC), whose 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. It became the Pac-12 in 2011 with the addition of the University of Colorado and the University of Utah.


Nicknamed the "Conference of Champions," the Pac-12 has won more NCAA National Team Championships than any other conference in history; the 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; Scott replaced Thomas C. Hansen, who retired in July 2009 after 26 years in that position. Prior to joining the Pac-10, Scott was Chairman and CEO of the Women's Tennis Association.

Full members

The Pac-12 has twelve full member institutions. Football currently is the only sport where the conference is divided evenly into two geographic divisions, the North Division and the South Division. The Pac-12 spans six states in the Western United States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Unusual for a major conference, the Pac-12's members are spread evenly between 3 regions, with 4 schools each in California, the Pacific Northwest, and the Four Corners region.

Affiliate members

The Pac-12 has four affiliate member institutions, three in California and Boise State University in Idaho.


Cal State Bakersfield initially announced it would become a men's soccer affiliate starting in 2013, but never went through with those plans, accepting an invitation to become an all-sports member of the Western Athletic Conference, which sponsors men's soccer, also in 2013. The school will maintain its Pac-12 affiliation in wrestling, which the WAC does not sponsor.

Former members

No school has left the Pac-12 since its founding as the AAWU in 1959. Two members of the PCC were not invited to join the AAWU or its successors.

Key personnel

As private schools, Stanford and USC are not obligated to publish employees' salaries.


Eight of the twelve member schools are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU), including all of the conference's California schools. The only FBS conference with more AAU members is the Big Ten with 13 out of 14 member institutions having AAU membership.

  • Stanford University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Washington
  • Additionally, these member schools are also highly ranked nationally and globally by various groups, including the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and Times Higher Education World University Rankings (Times). As of 2014, 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 15th. In 2014, of the twelve member schools, nine were ranked in the top 100 universities in the world.

    Athletic department revenue by school

    Total revenue includes ticket sales, contributions and donations, rights/licensing, student fees, school funds and all other sources including TV income, camp income, food and novelties. Total expenses includes coaching/staff, scholarships, buildings/ground, maintenance, utilities and rental fees and all other costs including recruiting, team travel, equipment and uniforms, conference dues and insurance costs.

    Updated to show institutional reporting to the Department of Education as shown on the DOE Equity in Athletics website for the 2013-14 academic year. The national ranking of revenue is based on 2075 institutions reporting to the Department of Education that year. Source:

    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. 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 and baseball – 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 June 1959.

    AAWU (Big Five and Big Six)

    Following "pay-for-play" scandals at California, USC, UCLA and Washington, the PCC disbanded in June 1959. Ten months earlier in August 1958, the four schools formed a new conference to take effect the following summer. 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 national "power conference." (Hamilton had been a key player, head coach, and athletic director at Navy, and was the AD at Pittsburgh.) Nicknamed the "Airplane Conference," the five PCC schools would have played with other major academically oriented 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.

    On July 1, 1959, the new Athletic Association of Western Universities was launched, with California, UCLA, USC, and Washington as the four charter members. Stanford joined during the first month. Hamilton left Pittsburgh to become the first commissioner of the AAWU, and remained for a dozen years. The conference also was popularly known as the Big Five from 1960 to 1962; when Washington State joined in 1962, the conference was then informally known as the Big Six.


    Oregon and Oregon State rejoined in the summer of 1964. With the addition of the two Oregon schools, the conference was known unofficially as the Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC), and then 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, and were independent in football until 1965.

    In 1968, the AAWU formally renamed itself the Pacific-8 Conference, or Pac-8 for short. The Pac-8 did not allow a second bowl team from the conference until the 1975 season.


    In 1978, the conference added WAC schools Arizona and Arizona State on July 1, creating the Pacific-10 Conference or Pac-10. The invitations to the schools were extended in December 1976, and expansion was formally announced in May 1977.

    In 1986, the Pac-10 began sponsoring women's athletics. Prior to this time members' women's teams competed with other large universities on the Pacific coast in either the Northern Pacific Conference or the Western Collegiate Athletic Association.

    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.

    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 Boulder, or possibly Baylor University and Texas A&M University.

    On June 10, 2010, the University of Colorado Boulder officially accepted an invitation to join the Pac-10 Conference, effective in the 2012–2013 academic year. 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.

    On June 17, 2010, the University of Utah officially accepted an invitation to join the Pac-10 Conference, effective in July 2011. Utah was a member of the WAC with Arizona and Arizona State before those two left for the Pac-10 in 1978. The Utes left an expanded WAC in 1999 to form the new 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 the Pac-12 when Utah and Colorado formally joined. On October 21, the Pac-12 announced that football scheduling would be divided into two divisions in football—a North Division comprising the Pacific Northwest and Bay Area schools and a South Division comprising the Mountain Time Zone and Southern California schools. On July 1, 2011, the Pac-12 assumed its current alignment when both Colorado and Utah officially joined as full members.

    On August 15, 2012, the conference debuted the Pac-12 Network. It was the third college sports conference to launch a dedicated network, and the first to completely fund and own their own network outright.

    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

     Full members 

    The Pac-12 Conference sponsors championship competition in ten men's and twelve women's NCAA sanctioned sports, plus one men's sport that is not sanctioned by the NCAA. Five schools are associate members in three men's sports.

  • ^ — Beach volleyball is a fully sanctioned NCAA sport which held its first national championship in the spring of 2016. The Pac-12 is the second conference (after the Atlantic Sun Conference) to sponsor a championship in the sport.
  • Lacrosse (W) will become a fully sponsored sport in 2017–18, when Arizona State elevates its club team to full varsity status.
  • † — Rowing (M) is sanctioned by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association, not by the NCAA; Rowing (W) is sanctioned by both.
  • Men's sponsored sports by school

    Member-by-member sponsorship of the 11 men's Pac-12 sports.

    Men's sports that are not sponsored by the Pac-12 but are fielded as a varsity sport at Pac-12 schools


    Women's sponsored sports by school

    Member-by-member sponsorship of the 12 women's Pac-12 sports.

    Women's sports that are not sponsored by the Pac-12 but are fielded as a varsity sport at Pac-12 schools


    NCAA national titles

  • Team titles through March 19, 2017; individual titles through July 1, 2016
  • † Co-ed sports include fencing (since 1990), rifle, and skiing (since 1983). Team fencing championships before 1990 and team skiing championships before 1983 were awarded as men's or women's championships and are counted here as such.

    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. These totals also do not include championships prior to the inception of the NCAA.

    USC claims 11 national football championships, California claims 5, Washington and Stanford claim 2, and Colorado and UCLA claim 1.

    Conference champions

  • Football
  • Men's Basketball
  • Women's Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Gymnastics
  • Men's Soccer
  • Women's Soccer
  • Women's Volleyball
  • Rivalries

    Each of the ten schools that were conference members before 2011 has its own in-state, conference rivalry. One is an intra city rivalry (UCLA-USC), and another is within the same metropolitan area (California-Stanford). The two schools that joined in 2011 were historic rivals in the Rocky Mountain region, prior to 1962 when they suspended the series. These rivalries (and the name given to the football forms) are:

  • Oregon–Oregon State (The Civil War, the Platypus Trophy, not officially recognized by the Universities, is awarded to the winning Alumni Association).
  • California–Stanford (The Big Game, winner gets the Stanford Axe).
  • Arizona–Arizona State (The Duel in the Desert, winner gets the Territorial Cup).
  • Colorado–Utah (Rumble in the Rockies).
  • Washington–Washington State (The Apple Cup game, since 1962 the winner gets the Apple Cup trophy).
  • UCLA–USC (The winner of the annual game between these teams gets the Victory Bell; referred among the students as the Gauntlet or sometimes referred to as the Crosstown Gauntlet, it has now been rebranded as the SoCal BMW Crosstown Cup and is awarded to the athletic department with the most victories).
  • The most frequently played rivalries in the conference are the Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State (119 games through 2015) and the Big Game between Stanford and California (118 games). These rivalries are among the ten most played rivalries in Division I FBS football.

    The two newest members, Colorado and Utah, have a football rivalry as well that had been dormant since 1962 – both were conference rivals previously in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (now a Division II conference), and later the now-defunct Mountain States Conference (also known as the Skyline Conference). Even after Colorado joined what became the Big 12 in 1948 (the conference was then known popularly as the Big 7 Conference), the two schools continued their football rivalry for over a decade before ending it after the 1962 season. With the two schools being placed in the same division for football starting in 2011, the rivalry was revived with their 58th meeting during the 2011 Pac-12 season. Colorado leads the series 32–28–3.

    There are other notable football rivalries within the Pac-12.

    All of the California schools consider each other major rivals, due to the culture clash between Northern and Southern California. For USC, the big game is UCLA. For Stanford, their big game is California. But for both Stanford and California, their second biggest game is USC. California and UCLA have a rivalry rooted in their shared history as the top programs within the University of California system. Stanford and USC have a rivalry rooted in their shared history as the only private schools in the Pac-12. California and USC also have a long history, having played each other every year in football since 1916.

    Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, and Washington State all consider each other major rivals due to the proximity and long history. The Oregon – Washington rivalry is sometimes referred to as the Border War.

    Arizona and New Mexico have a recently renewed rivalry game, based upon when they were both members of the WAC and both states were longtime territories before being admitted as states in 1912. They played for the Kit Carson Rifle trophy, which was no longer used starting with their meeting in the 1997 Insight Bowl.

    USC and Notre Dame have an intersectional rivalry (See Notre Dame – USC rivalry). The games in odd-numbered years in Indiana are played in mid-October, while the games in even-numbered years in Los Angeles are usually played in late November.

    Stanford and Notre Dame also have an intersectional rivalry (See Notre Dame–Stanford football rivalry). The schedule of the Stanford – Notre Dame rivalry mirrors that of the USC – Notre Dame rivalry. The games in even-numbered years are played in Indiana in mid-October, while the games in odd-numbered years are played at Stanford in late November.

    The isolated rural campuses of Washington State and Idaho are eight miles (13 km) apart on the Palouse, creating a natural border war. Idaho rejoined FBS in 1996; the football rivalry has been dubbed Battle of the Palouse.

    Utah and BYU have a fierce rivalry that goes back to 1896 that until recently was an intra-conference rivalry nicknamed the Holy War.

    Colorado also has a rivalry with in-state rival Colorado State which is called the Rocky Mountain Showdown.

    With the NCAA permanently approving 12-game schedules in college football beginning in 2006, the Pac-10 – alone among major conferences in doing so – went to a full nine-game conference schedule. Previously, the schools did not play one non-rival opponent, resulting in an eight-game conference schedule (four home games and four away). In 2010, the last season before the arrival of Colorado and Utah, the only other BCS conference that played a round-robin schedule was the Big East. The schedule consisted of one home and away game against the two schools in each region, plus the game against the primary rival.


    On October 21, 2010 the Pacific-10 announced the football divisions to be used when Utah and Colorado move from the Mountain West Conference and Big 12 Conference respectively, forming the new Pac-12 effective July 1, 2011. Divided into "North" and "South" divisions, each has the following schools in the divisions only for football – a North Division comprising the Pacific Northwest and Bay Area schools, and a South Division comprising the Mountain Time Zone and Los Angeles schools. However, the four California schools (gray background below) will still play each other every season.

    A nine-game conference schedule is being maintained, with five games within the assigned division and four games from the opposite division. The four California teams will play each other every season. Thus, the four non-California teams in each division will only play one of the two California teams from the opposite division each year, facing the same school every other year on average.

    The Pac-12 Football Championship Game features the North Division Champion against the South Division Champion. The divisional champions are determined based on record in all conference games (both divisional and cross-divisional). Through the 2013 edition, the Championship Game was played at the home stadium of the divisional champion with the best record in all conference games (both divisional and cross-divisional). The first Championship Game was played on December 2, 2011 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon, between Oregon and UCLA with the Ducks winning 49-31 over the Bruins. Since 2014, the Championship Game has been hosted by Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

    Bowl games

    Starting in the 2014 college football season, the following is the bowl selection order and the teams involved in each bowl:

    Pac-12 All-Century Football Team

    In honor of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the conference, an "All-Century Team" was unveiled on December 2, 2015, as the result of a poll of coaches, players, and the media.

  • Quarterbacks: John Elway, Stanford; Marcus Mariota, Oregon; Jim Plunkett, Stanford; Andrew Luck, Stanford; Matt Leinart, USC
  • Running Backs: Marcus Allen, USC; OJ Simpson, USC; Charles White, USC; Reggie Bush, USC; Mike Garrett, USC
  • Wide Receivers: Keyshawn Johnson, USC; Lynn Swann, USC; Marqise Lee, USC; JJ Stokes, UCLA; Ken Margerum, Stanford
  • Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez, California; Charles Young, USC;
  • Offensive Line: Jonathan Ogden, UCLA; Ron Yary, USC; Tony Boselli, USC; Anthony Muñoz, USC; Lincoln Kennedy, Washington; Brad Budde, USC; Randall McDaniel, Arizona State
  • Defensive Ends: Tedy Bruschi, Arizona; Terrell Suggs, Arizona State; Willie McGinest, USC; Andre Carter, California; Jim Jeffcoat, Arizona State
  • Defensive Tackles: Steve Emtman, Washington; Haloti Ngata, Oregon; Rob Waldrop, Arizona; Leonard Williams, USC; Ed White, California
  • Linebackers Junior Seau, USC; Jerry Robinson, UCLA; Ricky Hunley, Arizona; Richard Wood, USC; Chris Claiborne, USC
  • Cornerbacks Joey Browner, USC; Mel Renfro, Oregon; Chris McAlister, Arizona; Antoine Cason, Arizona
  • Safeties: Ronnie Lott, USC ; Kenny Easley, UCLA; Troy Polamalu, USC; Mark Carrier, USC
  • Kicker: Jason Hanson, Washington State
  • Punter: Tom Hackett, Utah
  • Returner: Reggie Bush, USC
  • Coach: John McKay, USC
  • Note: Bold Italic notes Offensive, Defensive and Coach of the Century selections; The voting panel was made up of 119 former players, coaches and media.

    See also

  • Pac-12 Conference football statistics
  • Pac-12 Conference football individual awards
  • Men's basketball

    As of 2014, Pac-12 schools have won a record 16 Division I national titles. Oregon won the first NCAA Tournament in 1939. UCLA has won 11 national titles, the most of any Division I team.

    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 one of a small number of non-conference games 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 (now in the ACC).

    In baseball, there are intense rivalries between the four southern schools. Arizona, Arizona State, and USC 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.

    Recently, Cal Poly and UCLA has grown into a competitive Men's Soccer rivalry with Cal Poly hosting UCLA in a 0-0 tie in front of a crowd of 8,717 which at the time was the 9th largest regular season, on-campus attendance in the history of college soccer. The schools have played several times since however UCLA has not returned to San Luis Obispo for a Friday or Saturday game since tying Cal Poly in front of a record crowd. UCLA leads the series 6-2-2.


    Since restarting in 1959 as the AAWU, the Pac-12 has had only four commissioners:


    Commissioners of the forerunner PCC

  • Herb Dana (193x–40)
  • Edwin N. Atherton (1940–44)
  • Victor O. Schmidt (1944–59)
  • References

    Pac-12 Conference Wikipedia

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