Expanding for the first time since 1978, the Pac-10 officially becomes the Pac-12 today with the addition of the University of Colorado and the University of Utah, opening a new chapter in the Conference's long history.
With more than 120 Nobel Laureates across all of its campuses and the first ever to reach 400 NCAA Championships, the Conference is synonymous with both academic excellence and athletic success, having earned the nickname the "Conference of Champions"®.
Colorado and Utah fit perfectly into this tradition, bringing nationally recognized research programs and a record of athletic excellence that includes 42 NCAA titles. They become the first new Conference members since Arizona and Arizona State were added exactly 33 years ago today, joining California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State.
"This is a very exciting day and a historic moment for our Conference, for college athletics and for Colorado and Utah," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. "Our Conference was built on a pioneering spirit and through innovation that has contributed to some of the most valuable advancements in this country and the world. Colorado and Utah share those core values and instantly enhance the strength of our Conference both academically and athletically."
If history is any indication, the addition of Colorado and Utah promises to add even more depth and success to the Conference of Champions. During the 33 years since its last expansion, the Conference has claimed 258 NCAA Championships, including 130 in women's sports and 128 in men's. The Buffaloes have claimed 22 NCAA titles and the Utes have won 20, giving the new Pac-12 442 NCAA Championships, more than any conference in the country.
"We certainly welcome these two schools with open arms and feel they will complement a strong collection of academic, as well as athletic institutions, and make all of us stronger," emphasized Oregon Director of Athletics Rob Mullens.
The Pac-12 will split into two divisions for football only, and will host the first-ever Pac-12 Football Championship Game Dec. 2 on the home field of the team with the best overall Conference record. Colorado and Utah join Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and USC in the South Division, while California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington and Washington State make up the North Division.
As part of the official expansion, the Pac-12 has re-launched its website (www.pac-12.org) to enhance the fan experience. The new site features improved navigation, a simplified newsfeed, scores, schedules and standings on the homepage, and new Pac-12 merchandise.
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