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Pac-12 Conference

 

The Pac-12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that operates in the Western United States, participating in 24 sports at the NCAA Division I level. Its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A), the higher of two tiers of NCAA Division I football competition.

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

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), University of Washington, University of Oregon, and Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University). The PCC began play in 1916.

Following "pay-for-play" scandals at California, USC, UCLA, and Washington, the PCC disbanded in June 1959. Ten months earlier in August 1958, these four schools agreed to form a new conference that would take effect the following summer. When the four schools and Stanford began discussions for a new conference in 1959, 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 current athletic director at Pittsburgh). Nicknamed the "Airplane Conference," the five former PCC schools would have played with other major academically-oriented schools, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Notre Dame, Pitt, Penn State, and Syracuse. The effort fell through when a Pentagon official vetoed the idea and the service academies backed out.

Oregon and Oregon State joined in the summer of 1964. With their addition, the conference was known unofficially as the Pacific Athletic Conference, and then the Pacific-8 (as there already was a major conference called the Big Eight). 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 basketball, participation in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) was not allowed until 1973.

Before the addition of Colorado and Utah in 2011, only the Ivy League had maintained its membership for a longer time than the Pac-10 among Division I conferences. Commissioner Larry Scott said on February 9, 2010, that the window for expansion 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.

On June 15, 2010, a deal was reached between Texas and the Big 12 Conference to keep Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, 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.

These totals do not include football national championships, which the NCAA does not officially award 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.

The two newest members, Colorado and Utah, had a football rivalry 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 season.

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). The first three championship games were played at the home stadium of the participant with the better overall conference record. Since 2014, the Championship Game has been hosted at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, but will move to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for at least 2020 and 2021.


 



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