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Welcome to the PAC, Utes!

As an University of Oregon alum and rabid fan/booster, I'd like to welcome you to the Conference of Champions. I'm very exited for both the Utes and the Buffs to join, and am glad we don't have to wait an extra year to get it going.


As I'm sure you realize from the get-go, there will be no more winning out and not getting into a BCS game. If you "run the table" in the Pac-12, you are likely going to the NCG and are guaranteed a BCS bowl regardless. In fact, if you win the South and lose the P12 title game (to Oregon!), you probably will STILL get a BCS at-large. But the flip side? The Pac is a meat-grinder. The Ducks have the last shot at being the ONLY team ever to go undefeated in the PX during the round-robin (every team plays every team) era, which closes with the start of next season. USC was derailed by lesser teams year after year (Cal, OSU twice, Stanford before they got good, WSU) in their efforts. They likely missed out on at least 2 more title games because of this. 

 

A quick primer on the rivalries. There are of course the natural rivalries. UO/OSU, UW/WSU, UA/ASU, Cal/Stanford, USC/UCLA. There are also the regional rivalries. The Cali teams are pretty heated, the NW schools hate each other, and everyone hates the AZ schools. Also, everyone hates the "top dog" in the conference at any time. USC for the last 8 years, UO now, etc. But there are also other rivalries depending on the sport. In football, the Ducks are in a blood feud with Arizona the last decade or so, especially the last 6 or 7 years or so. USC and OSU don't like each other at all. On and on. I know we've had a friendly series or two with the Utes of late, but look for that to intensify. We have a bit of history with CU, especially during their Skippy Neuweasel era. And we have long memories.

 

It's also very nice to continue the PAC tradition of having universities dedicated to research and to all-around athletics (minimum of 7 Div. 1 squads at each school). And now we have 2 of the original 4 Arpanet nodes in the PAC!

 

Some other things. The Coliseum is an absolute dump and in a bad area of LA. The fans are front-runners and rarely packed the house even when they were contending for titles. Husky Stadium is a well-designed stadium in a fabulous setting but is also a dump, although it is finally being renovated. It can be insanely loud when full and rocking. Both of the Arizona stadiums are pretty nice. The UA student fan-base is completely classless. The Rose Bowl is the Rose Bowl and is never full and rarely loud. WSU's Martin Stadium can be raucous but is the smallest in the conference and is literally in the middle of nowhere. Their fans are the class of the Pac though, IMO. Reser Stadium is far better than it was a few years ago but is smallish. It can get pretty loud. Autzen is Autzen. Ear-bleedingly loud. Not huge, but still holds just shy of 60K. The last renovation included a built-in allowance to complete the south side of the bowl to bring it up to around 70K when the time comes.

 

Anyway, I'm very glad to welcome you and the Buffs. I hope we get to play you next season, home or away. I'm sure you will get a recruiting bump so don't worry about the relatively tough schedule. Now that you're in one of the top BCS conferences, you'll understand why we sometimes take it a little easy with our OOC schedules. For instance, BSU's season essentially ended with their OOC schedule and ours began with Pac-10 play. Things look a little different from the other side, don't they?

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