Editor’s note: This story aired prior to the breaking news that

Arizona will be joining the Big 12


The Pac-12 Conference has been around for more than 100 years. The last 45 have included Arizona and Arizona State as members.

But that run is now over, with the U of A jumping ship for the Big 12.

And just like their move into the Pac-12 45 years ago, Arizona has coaxed long-time rival school ASU to come along.

“Michael Crow is really dragging his feet and isn’t big on, maybe not completely sold on leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 12 like Arizona sounds like they are,” Shane Dale, Arizona Wildcats historian and author, told me prior to the news Friday evening.

Ironically, 45 years ago there was a similar situation as the two Arizona universities were contemplating a switch from the WAC to the PAC.

In the 1970s, Fred Snowden was building the Wildcats into a powerhouse in the Western Athletic Conference.

“Fred Snowden, the coach, had some up and down players and some good ones,” says Tom Duddleston, former Arizona Sports Information Director. “The WAC conference was special, competitive league. It was just good.”

Arizona State Football, under head coach Frank Kush, was dominating the WAC in football. When the U of A made the push to join what was then the PAC-8 for academic reasons, ASU was opposed.

They eventually gave in, and the two Arizona schools joined to form the PAC-10 in 1978.

“Those two schools have been together since before World War II with the Border Conference, and then later in the WAC, and then eventually becoming the PAC-10,” says Dale.

The PAC-10 grew to the PAC-12 in 2011, branding itself as the Conference of Championshaving won more national championships than any other conference.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re not going to have that conference anymore,” says Dale. “Arizona’s built so many memories, won so many national titles in multiple sports.”

The one regret for Dale and most Wildcat fans? No trip to the Rose Bowl for Arizona Football:

“There could still be the opportunity with the 12-team playoff coming up and the Rose Bowl being one of the playoff games at some point. That’s still a possibility, but that’s going to be a shame, yeah.”