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November 13, 2008

NCAA Division I-A / Football Bowl Subdivision, the Pac-10: Attendance map (2007 figures) and Team Profiles.

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The Pac-10 was formed in 1959.   Its roots are in the Pacific Coast Conference,  which began play for football in 1916,  and existed to 1959.   Founding schools in the PCC were California (of Berkeley, CA),  Washington (of Seattle, WA),  Oregon (of Salem, OR),  and Oregon State (of Corvallis, OR).   The following year, 1917,  Washington State (of Pullman, WA) joined.   Stanford (of Palo Alto, CA) joined the next year,  1918.  

In 1922,  the conference expanded to 8 teams with the addition of Southern California [ie, USC] (of Los Angeles, CA),  and Idaho (of Moscow, ID).    Montana (of Missoula, MT) joined in 1924.   The PCC swelled to 10 teams when UCLA (of Los Angeles, CA) joined in 1928.   Montana left the PCC in 1950, to join the Mountain States Conference. 

The dominant schools in PCC football were the four California schools.   UCLA won 12 Conference Titles,  both USC and California won 11 Titles,  and Stanford won 8 Titles.    The 6 other schools won a total of 14 Titles,  the highest being Oregon with 5.   The two Rocky Mountain schools,  Idaho and Montana,  never won a football title. 

The divide between the California schools and the other 6 schools was also evident in another way.  Many university leaders in the California schools considered the Northwest schools academically inferior,  and advocated a split to form a separate California conference,  for schools that held a higher standard of the student athlete.

So it is ironic that the split-up of the Pacific Coast Conference came about after a scandal involving illegal payments  to players on the UCLA and USC teams.   UCLA officials and coaches eventually admitted to widespread payments to players,  and in turn blew the whistle on phony USC programs that paid players.   3 of the 4 California schools  (but not Stanford),   as well as Washington,  were eventually implicated in the pay-for-play scandal,  and the PCC disbanded in 1959.

In July, 1959,  the Athletic Association of Western Universities was formed,  comprising  CaliforniaStanfordUCLAUSC,  and Washington.   This in spite of the fact that many at Stanford had wanted UCLA to be expelled for their part in the pay-for-play/ slush fund scandal.   For its first few years, 1960-’62,  the AAWU was popularly known as the Big Five.   The Northwest schools were initially blocked from joining,  but Washington State was able to join in 1962,  and it became known as the Big Six.

Oregon and Oregon State were finally able to join in 1964.  Idaho was never invited,  and stayed independent until joining the Big Sky Conference in 1963.

In 1968, the AAWU changed its name to the Pacific 8 Conference,  aka the Pac-8.

In 1978,  the conference added two schools from the Western Athletic conference:  Arizona State (Tempe, AZ),  and Arizona (Tuscon, AZ),  and changed its name to the Pacific-10 Conference,  aka the Pac-10.

Thanks to the contibutors to the Wikipedia pages on the PCC  {Click here} and the Pac-10  {Click here}.   Thanks to the College Football Data Warehouse  site  {Click here}.   Thanks to the College Football All-Time Database (http://www.nationalchamps.net/NCAA/database/index.htm).   Thanks to the College Football History site…I have set he link to the Oregon Ducks page,  which talks about the origins of their mascot and how Oregon officials were able to secure rights for use of the Donald Duck character (but only on merchandise sold in-state)  {Click here}.

Thanks to Helmet Hut  {Click here}.   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page  {Click here}.   Thanks to the Helmet Project site  {Click here}.

Thanks to MG’s Helmets.  This is a site I have just come across,  which has beautiful computer aided illustrsations of football helmets in most every league and conference.   I also like it because the site has a very comprehensive set of old NFL helmets (but alas,  no old college helmets…for that you have to go to the Helmet Project site).   MG’s Helmets is the best site out there for throwback NFL helmets.   {Click here,  for MG’s Helmets.}

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