A brief, thoroughly incomplete history of the Pac Ten, courtesy of what happens to be available (and palatable) on YouTube...
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• Washington State began it’s football life as Washington Agricultural College, and got on its glad rags to prove West Coast football knows its onions against Brown in the 1916 Rose Bowl, the first year the game was reinstated after Michigan blasted Stanford 49-0 in 1902 and football was briefly replaced by polo and chariot racing. Hell if you can tell what’s going on in this clip, football-wise, but the 7,000 on hand for a gander sure thought it was the gnat’s whistle. You know the names! Fischback, Zimmerman, C.C. Boone, Bangs, "Moley" Brooks, "Doc" Bohler, and of course, the indomitable Coach Dietz...
Washington State's been back to the Rose Bowl in the intervening 90 years, but hasn't earned its second win.
• I don’t know what UCLA and USC were meant to represent in the turbulent days of 1967, but they were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, featured the ‘67 and ‘68 Heisman winners (Gary Beban and O.J. Simpson), and, if the music is representative, engaged in an epic struggle between good and evil for the fate of civilization as man then knew it:
...or for the Swedish "cheerleader" at the end, if there was any difference.
• Back when they were still the Indians –
– Stanford made the rare Rose Bowl visit in 1971, when somebody shot this clasically amateur home move of the Tournament of Roses Parade. There’s no sound, but watch for the fashion, and I think the guy on the horse is Michael Landon:
• Everybody’s seen the Cal-Stanford band play ad nauseum, so there’s not much point in that. What’s always missing is the context of the rest of the game, wherein John Elway launched a crucial 4th-and-17 on the "winning" drive and generally looked like Mike Langford in ‘74, for crissakes. It was "one of the more remarkable finishes you’ll ever see" before Cal’s return. And after, well, cue Joe Starkey:
Stanford’s eternal nightmare: why, God, why didn’t they wait another four seconds to call that timeout?
• Another UCLA-USC classic (from a UCLA perspective this time), outstandingly narrated by Ron Franklin in 1992 and well-edited here for posterity, coming down to USC ‘s two-point attempt to win from Rob Johnson. Watch for a classic performance by Rudy-esque underdog John Barnes:
• How good was Arizona in 1993? Good enough to sweep Sports Illustrated off its fad-loving feet heading into 1994:
This was a year after SI picked Syracuse as No. 1, and at least the ‘Cats did better with the albatross (8-4, Freedom Bowl loss to Utah) than the Orangemen did in ‘93 (6-4-1, no bowl). But then, I remember clearly watching the preceding Fiesta Bowl on a tiny television that plugged into the cigarette lighter en route to the Sugar Bowl (Florida 41, West Virginia 7, ending in our group listening to luxury boxers just above us whooping over the dramatic end of the Nebraska-Florida State Orange Bowl), and, 1998 notwithstanding, there’s no doubt the ‘93 "Desert Swarm" was the best Arizona’s ever fielded:
• And this is a little more recent than I like to get here, but it’s not widely viewed and the Beaver State will appreciate it: the 2000 Civil War game between Oregon and Oregon State basically in its entirety, maybe the only occasion in our lifetimes both teams enter the game ranked in the top ten. Hell, it had been decades since OSU came in ranked at all, and it hasn’t been in the polls this late in a season since: