The Pacific-12 Conference includes 12 schools from six different U.S. states. These 12 schools divide up into two divisions for significant sports: the Pac-12 North and Pac-12 South. The following is a list of Pac-12 schools by division, followed by their standard abbreviations and mascots:
Pac-12 North schools:
Pac-12 South schools:
Divisions allow schools to maintain regional rivalries by ensuring yearly competition against every team from their division in sports like football, where the number of games is limited.
The Pac-12 also has four additional affiliate universities that compete in less-popular sports. California Polytechnic State University; California University State, Bakersfield; and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock all compete in Pac-12 wrestling competitions. San Diego State University competes in Pac-12 men's soccer.
The University of Washington-more commonly known as the Washington Huskies for athletic purposes-are in the Pacific-12 Conference. Washington has been in the Pac-12 since the conference's inception as the Pacific Coast Conference on December 2nd, 1915.
The Pacific Coast Conference began with California, Oregon, Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State), and Washington. Washington State, Stanford, USC, Idaho, Montana, and UCLA joined over the next 12 years.
Montana departed in 1950, and the conference dissolved amid scandals at multiple schools in 1959. Cal, UCLA, USC, and Washington then immediately created The Athletic Association of Western Universities. By June of 1964, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State had joined to form the Pacific-8.
Arizona and Arizona state joined to create the Pac-10 in 1978. Despite interest in expanding to as many as 16 teams-including two schools from Texas and two more from Oklahoma-only Colorado and Utah joined to create the Pac-12 in 2011.
Since the Pac-12 Network launched in 2012, it has never been available on DirecTV, one of the largest television distributors in the United States. The Pac-12 was adamant about owning their network for broadcasting "second-tier content" (i.e., everything except the best basketball and football games) and were, therefore, unable to come to a business deal with DirecTV.
The saga between these two entities has continued ever since, but both companies remain at a stalemate despite steady urging from athletic directors, coaches, journalists, and thousands of fans.
The lack of availability on DirecTV undoubtedly lowers the Pac-12's overall visibility and perception compared to other athletic conferences. Many fans have blamed Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott for this lack of availability. However, the conference contends their strategy of maintaining independence will prove better in the long run and promotes a plethora of other options for fans to consume their content.
The Pac-12 Network is owned solely by the Pac-12 Conference. The ownership of the network is relevant because it has caused some controversy among consumers and conference members alike.
Because the Pac-12 maintains ownership of all its content, it can be more difficult for fans of teams in the Pac-12 to watch their favorite programs compete regularly compared to other conferences.
For example, the Big Ten Conference's deal with FOX allows nearly all of its football and basketball games to broadcast on every cable and satellite provider in the United States and Canada. The ACC, Big 12, and SEC have deals with ESPN that allows their "networks"-and, therefore, nearly all their football and basketball games-to be broadcast on ESPN.
The Pac-12 Networks include a national channel (known as the "Pac-12 Network") and six regional channels that include two schools each. These local networks are as follows, along with the schools they cover:
Each regional network is supposedly available to consumers that live in each region, although this is on a case-by-case basis with each network and provider.
The Pac-12 also owns the Pac-12 Digital Network, which allows their games to broadcast on mobile devices with proper logins.