American Football Wiki
Pacific-12 Conference
Pacific-12 Conference logo
Established 1915
Association NCAA
Division Division I FBS
Members 12
Sports fielded 55 (men's: 11; women's: 11)
Region Western United States
Former names Pacific Coast Conference (PCC, 1915-1959)
Athletic Association of Western Universities (AAWU, 1959–68)
Pacific-8 (1968–78)
Pacific-10 (1978-2011)
Big Five (1959–62) — unofficial
Big Six (1962–64) — unofficial
Pacific-8 (1964–68) — unofficial
Headquarters Walnut Creek, California
Commissioner Larry Scott (since 2009)

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, before 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 in July 2009. Hansen retired 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]


Team Location Stadium
Arizona Wildcats Tucson, AZ Arizona Stadium
Arizona State Sun Devils Tempe, AZ Sun Devil Stadium
California Golden Bears Berkeley, CA California Memorial Stadium
Colorado Buffaloes Boulder, CO Folsom Field
Oregon Ducks Eugene, OR Autzen Stadium
Oregon State Beavers Corvallis, OR Reser Stadium
Stanford Cardinal Stanford, CA Stanford Stadium
UCLA Bruins Los Angeles, CA Rose Bowl (in Pasadena, CA)
USC Trojans Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Utah Utes Salt Lake City, UT Rice-Eccles Stadium
Washington Huskies Seattle, WA Husky Stadium
Washington State Cougars Pullman, WA Martin Stadium

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, ID 1889 Public 11,957 Vandals 1922–1959 WAC
University of Montana Missoula, MT 1893 Public 14,921 Grizzlies 1924–1950 Big Sky




Locations of current Pacific-12 Conference full member institutions.

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.[3] 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 the University of Southern California (USC) and Idaho. Montana joined the Conference in 1924, and in 1928, the PCC grew to 10 members with the addition of University of California, Los Angeles (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 Cal, 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 St, Duke, and Georgia Tech among others. The effort fell through when a Pentagon official vetoed the idea, and forced the service academies to back out.[4]

On July 1, 1959 the new Athletic Association of Western Universities was formed, with Cal, Stanford, UCLA, USC, and Washington as charter members. The conference also was popularly known as the Big Five from 1960 to 62;[5] when Washington State joined in 1962, the conference was then informally known as the Big Six.[5]


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

Final Pac-10 Conference logo

In 1978, the conference added WAC schools University of Arizona and Arizona State University, 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.[6]

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.


  • Main article: 2010–11 NCAA conference realignment

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.[7][8]

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.[9][10] 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.[11]

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.[9] 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 Pacific-12 Conference (or Pac-12) when the two new universities joined 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 UniversityNCAA Division I-FBS independent schoolsOregon State UniversityUniversity of OregonNCAA Division I-FBS independent schoolsUniversity of OregonUniversity of WashingtonUniversity of California, Berkeley

NCAA national titles

  • Main article: List of Pacific-12 Conference National Championships
File:NCAA titles.jpg

NCAA National Championship trophies, rings, watches won by UCLA teams

School Team Individual
Men Women Total Men Women Total
Arizona 6 11 17 62 84 146
Arizona State 11 12 23 61 43 104
California 25 5 30 135 62 197
Colorado 20 2 22 106 12 118
Oregon 13 5 18 78 24 102
Oregon State 3 0 3 32 7 39
Stanford 61 40 101 262 177 439
UCLA 71 36 107 162 100 262
USC 79 14 93 303 60 363
Utah 11 9 20 70 24 94
Washington 1 6 7 55 15 70
Washington State 2 0 2 80 6 86
Conference total 302 140 442 1406 614 2020
  • through 2010-11 season (updated at end of school year)[12][13][14]
  • 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,[15] California claims 5,[16][17] Washington claims 2,[18][19] and Colorado, Stanford, and UCLA each claim 1.[20][21][22][22][23][24]


File:Big Game Play 1.jpg

Big Game, 2004 between Cal and Stanford

Each of the 10 schools that were conference members before 2011 has its own in-state, conference rivalry. One is an intracity rivalry (UCLA-USC), and another is within the same metropolitan area (Cal-Stanford). These rivalries (and the name given to the football forms) are:

  • Oregon–Oregon State (The Civil War, the winner's Alumni Association gets the Platypus Trophy but is not recognized by the Universities).
  • Cal–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 Crosstown Showdown, winner gets the Victory Bell).

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. Colorado leads the series with Utah 30–24–3. With the two schools being placed in the same division for football starting in 2011, the rivalry will be revived when the two schools meet for the 58th time during the 2011 Pac-12 season.

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 Cal. But for both Stanford and Cal, their second biggest game is USC.[25] Cal 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. Cal 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. [26]

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.[27][28]

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.

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 inter-conference rivalry nicknamed the Holy War.

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 that will be used when Utah and Colorado move from the Mountain West Conference and Big 12 Conference respectively, forming the new Pacific-12 conference effective July 1, 2011. Divided into "North" and "South" divisions, each will have 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 Southern California schools.[29] However, the four California schools (gray background below) will still play each other every season.

North Division South Division
Oregon Arizona
Oregon State Arizona State
Washington Colorado
Washington State Utah
California UCLA
Stanford USC

A nine-game conference schedule is being maintained, with five matches within the assigned division and four matches 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.

Pac-12 Football Championship Game

The Pac-12 Football Championship Game will feature the North Division Champion against the South Division Champion. The Divisional Champions will be determined based on record in all Conference games (both divisional and cross-divisional). The Championship Game will be played at the home football venue of one of the Divisional Champions. The host will be determined based on record in all Conference games (both divisional and cross-divisional).[30]

Tie-breaking Procedures Divisional Champion Tie-breaker

  • Two Teams:
  • Head-to-head competition between the two tied teams. If no game is played between the two tied teams, the following tie-breaking procedures would be applied:
  1. Record in games played within the division.
  2. Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in all Conference games, both divisional and cross-divisional) proceeding through the division.
  3. Record in common Conference games.
  4. Highest BCS Ranking following the last weekend of regular-season games.
  5. Total number of wins in a 12-game season. The following conditions will apply to the calculation of the total number of wins:
  • Only one win against a team from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision or lower division will be counted annually.
  • Any games that are exempted from counting against the annual maximum number of football contests per NCAA rules (current Bylaw shall not be included.
6. Coin toss.
  • Three or More Teams:
  • The following procedures will only be used to eliminate all but two teams, at which point the two-team tie-breaking procedure will be applied.
  1. Head-to-head (best record in games among the tied teams).
  2. Record in games played within the division.
  3. Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in all Conference games, both divisional and cross-divisional), proceeding through the division.
  4. Record in common Conference games.
  5. Highest BCS Ranking following the last weekend of regular-season games.

Bowl games

The following is the current bowl selection order and the teams involved in each bowl:

Pick Name Location Opposing conference Opposing pick
1 Rose Bowl Pasadena, CA Big Ten or BCS
2 Alamo Bowl San Antonio, TX Big 12 3
3 Holiday Bowl San Diego, CA Big 12 5
4 Sun Bowl El Paso, TX ACC 4
5 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas Whitney, NV MWC 1
6 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl San Francisco, CA (Santa Clara, CA starting in 2014) Army (2011), Navy (2012), BYU (2013) 1/2/3
7 New Mexico Bowl Albuquerque, NM MWC

See also

  • Pacific-12 Conference football statistics
  • Pacific-12 Conference football awards


School Football stadium Capacity
Arizona Arizona Stadium 56,000
Arizona State Frank Kush Field at Sun Devil Stadium 71,706
California California Memorial Stadium 63,000
Colorado Folsom Field 53,613
Oregon Autzen Stadium 54,000
Oregon State Reser Stadium 45,674
Stanford Stanford Stadium 50,000
UCLA Rose Bowl 91,936
USC LA Coliseum 93,607
Utah Rice-Eccles Stadium 45,017
Washington Husky Stadium 72,500
Washington State Martin Stadium 35,117



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


  • Thomas J. Hamilton 1959–68


  • Thomas J. Hamilton 1968–71
  • Wiles Hallock 1971–78


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


  • Larry Scott 2011–present


  1. Thamel, Pete. "Pacific-10 Commissioner to Announce His Retirement", The New York Times, June 10, 2008. 
  2. Pacific-10 Conference Names Larry Scott Commissioner
  3. (Portland) Oregon Daily Journal, December 3, 1915. "Four Colleges Form Coast Conference at Very Secret Session"
  4. Dunnavant, Keith. "The 50 Year Seduction." Thomas Dunne Books: New York, 2004
  5. 5.0 5.1 NCAA Men's Basketball Records - Division I conference alignment history (PDF copy available at
  6. Mark Wangrin - "Power brokers: How tagalong Baylor, Tech crashed the revolt". San Antonio Express, August 14, 2005
  7. Ratto, Ray. "Pac-10 considers becoming Pac-12", The San Francisco Chronicle, August 13, 2010. 
  8. Ratto, Ray. "The Pac-10's meet market", The San Francisco Chronicle, August 8, 2010. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "University of Utah Joins Pac-10", Pacific-10 Conference, p. 4. 
  11. Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State stay put in Big 12 Conference - ESPN
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named
  13. Summary: National Collegiate/Division I Men's
  14. Summary: National Collegiate/Division I Women's
  15. 2008 USC Football Media Guide,USC Sports Information Office (2008). 2008 USC Football Media Guide pp. 119–124. University of Southern California. Retrieved on 2009-06-14. ISBN .
  16. - Traditions: Cal National Team Champions. University of California Department of Athletics. Retrieved on 2009-06-14.
  17. 2008 California Football Media Guide,2008 California Football Media Guide pp. 36. Cal Media Relations Office (2008). Retrieved on 2009-06-15. ISBN .
  18. Washington Huskies 2010 Football Record Book,Washington Huskies 2010 Football Record Book pp. 1. University of Washington Athletic Communications Office (2010). Retrieved on 2010-06-24. ISBN .
  19. Official 2009 NCAA Division I Football Records Book,Official 2009 NCAA Division I Football Records Book pp. 76–77, 81. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (2009-08). Retrieved on 2011-09-18. ISBN .
  20. Stanford Official Athletic Site - Traditions: Stanford Cardinal Championships. Stanford University Department of Athletics. Retrieved on 2009-06-16.
  21. 2009 Stanford Football Media Guide,2009 Stanford Football Media Guide pp. 141, 144. Stanford University Athletic Communications and Media Relations Department (2009). Retrieved on 2009-10-17. ISBN .
  22. 22.0 22.1 2009 UCLA Football Media Guide,2009 UCLA Football Media Guide pp. 147, 154. UCLA Sports Information Office (2009). Retrieved on 2009-10-16. ISBN .
  23. 2009 UCLA Football Media Guide,2009 UCLA Football Media Guide pp. 164. UCLA Sports Information Office (2009). Retrieved on 2009-10-16. ISBN .
  24. COLORADO FOOTBALL 1990 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS, University of Colorado Athletic Department, 2011,, retrieved 2011-07-03 
  25. Beano Cook, Longstanding West Coast rivalry, ESPN, Sept. 26, 2001, Accessed June 14, 2006
  26. Linde, Rich. When did the Border War begin?. Retrieved on 18 September 2011.
  27. Lobos Meet Arizona for First Time in 10 Years. University of New Mexico Athletic Department, September 10, 2007. The Rifle: The two schools used to play for the Kit Carson rifle, although that custom was dropped many years ago. Kit Carson was a legendary scout in the territories of New Mexico and Arizona in the 1800s. The story goes that nearly 70 years ago former New Mexico director of athletics Roy Johnson and Arizona AD Pop McKale obtained a rifle in a trade with an Indian rumored to be Geronimo. It's not known what the administrators provided in return. McKale donated the rifle in 1938 and the score of each game was etched into the stock. The Lobos won 10 times, Arizona 21.
  28. UA Sports UA Breakdown. Arizona Daily Star, September 15, 2007. Arizona and New Mexico will meet tonight for the first time since the 1997 Insight Bowl. That year, before the game was played, the presidents of the two universities decided to discontinue the Kit Carson Rifle trophy out of respect for both schools' Native American communities.
  29. Historic Decisions By Chancellors And Presidents Define The Future Pac-12 Conference > Pac-10 > News
  30. 2011 Pac-12 Football Championship Game. Retrieved on September 4, 2011.
  31. University of Arizona Wildcats Official Athletic Site
  33. Tafur, Vittorio. "Remodeling Cal's Memorial Stadium is a bear", The San Francisco Chronicle, May 12, 2011. 
  34. Folsom Field Home - - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado
  35. Autzen Stadium - - The University of Oregon Official Athletics Web Site
  36. Oregon State Official Athletic Site - Facilities
  37. Stanford University's Official Athletic Site
  38. UCLA BRUINS - Facilities
  39. - Press Release Distribution - PR Agency
  40. Rice-Eccles Stadium. Official Website of Utah Athletics. Retrieved on 2010-06-25.
  41. University of Washington Official Athletics Site - Facilities
  42. Stadium on the rise :: Fall 2008 :: Washington State Magazine

External links