Pac-10 Out of Conference Rivalries: Actual and Potential

David HedlindAnalyst IIMay 25, 2010

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 17: Chris Stewart #59 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish drops low to block Wes Horton #96 of the USC Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium on October 17, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. USC defeated Notre Dame 34-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

One of the most appealing points of the Pac-10 is the inlaid natural rivalry every school has.

Arizona-Arizona State


Oregon-Oregon State


Washington-Washington State

Outside of the conference USC also has a very prominent rivalry with Notre Dame.

This got me wondering who the other schools in the conference could consider rivals or could start as a rivalry outside the conference. Nothing would compare to what USC and Notre Dame have, but some could be quite good.

My choices will be based on more recent games; some may have longer histories though.



Before last season, Arizona and BYU played each other each season from 2006-2008.

In 2006 Arizona was able to win at home by three points. The following year BYU returned the favor but by 13 points.

In 2008, the meeting was in the Las Vegas Bowl. This was Arizona’s first bowl in a decade, and they were able to win by 10.

The roots of this could actually be traced back to the original WAC, where Arizona and BYU were both charter members. Through years in the WAC Arizona held the lead at 9-7 over BYU before leaving for the Pac-10.


Arizona State

The Sun Devils have been pretty good about having a pretty varied schedule, and not many teams show up more than a couple times.

San Diego State has been on the schedule a few times, but Arizona State won all of them. I don’t think this would really be all that great of a series, no matter how bad Arizona State was or good San Diego State could ever get.

They played a series with Colorado a few seasons ago, and the Sun Devils won those as well. The two are scheduled to play again in a few years, another home and home series. Right now would be better considering the seeming lows of the two programs, so we will see what happens in a few years.

That is to say, if by that time Colorado isn’t a part of the Pac.



California is another school that is making this idea harder. They have had a varied schedule through the years with no team showing up more than a couple times. No teams on the upcoming schedule have had a series with Cal recently either.

My choice here is a little off from how most of my other picks will be and is more toward the let’s see it type. I am going with Utah.

The two have met three times over the last decade or so, and Cal is only 1-2 against the Utes. Last years Poinsettia Bowl game was one of those games where the final score doesn’t really tell the whole story.

Cal jumped on top early for a 14-7 first quarter lead. The second quarter was all Utah, as they scored another 17 while Cal came up empty.

The second half looked a little different as it took longer to score. Utah put up a field goal while Cal added a touchdown at the end of the third.

With the score at 27-21 going to the fourth, the game was still within reach, even after Utah added another field goal to go up to 30-21.

Cal seemed ready to push for the comeback, but an interception for a touchdown took away those hopes quickly.

Cal was able to get on the board again but failed to recover an onside kick to end the game 37-27.

Who wouldn’t want to see this on a more regular basis?



Despite being one-sided, the series Oregon had with Fresno State was one of my favorites.

Fresno State always has the potential to be dangerous, and in most of the games between the two, they gave the Ducks enough of a scare for me to hate to see the game but always want to see it some more.

In five of the six recent matchups between the two, only one game was decided by a touchdown. The other four were by less, three by a field goal and one by four points. Only the most recent game in 2007 was the game lopsided, as Oregon took the game 52-21.

Unfortunately, as it stands these two do not have any more future games set up. Both have plenty of open dates on the future schedules though.


Oregon State

The home and home series that Oregon State has with Boise State that starts this season and concludes in Corvallis in 2012 will actually make a six-game series going back to 2003.

Of the four games already played between the two, the home team has won each game.

It is quite a different story though, as Oregon State's two wins are by a combined five points, while Boise State’s wins are by a combined 47.

Perhaps Oregon State will have better luck on the blue this season.



The bad news is that this one is just like USC in that the rival is Notre Dame.

The good news is that Jim Harbaugh has this rivalry relevant again. Okay, so Charlie Weis had something to do with it too.

Prior to Harbaugh, the three games leading up to his taking over Stanford were losses by a combined 36. The three games since he has been coach have been two losses by a total of 14 points and a win by seven.

The win was the first for Stanford in the series since 2001.

While Toby Gerhart and his 200 yards rushing, along with his one career pass, which was for a touchdown, played a very prominent role in this one win, I wouldn’t count Stanford out now that he is gone.



Based on the recent playing of games, I have to go with BYU here as well.

In 2007 the two schools played a regular season game and in the Las Vegas Bowl. They split the games, with UCLA winning in the regular season and BYU winning the bowl.

In 2008 they played again. While both games in 2007 were relatively close, 2008 was altogether different. BYU shut out and blew out UCLA 59-0.

Currently there are no plans for the two to play again in the future.



As noted before, Notre Dame. No questions, no explanation needed.

FYI, Notre Dame leads 42-34-5. USC has won the last eight in a row.



Stuck between two choices here.

First is Notre Dame. The two have played each other four times recently with Washington losing all of them. However, all of these games also correspond to Washington’s worst years ever. Last year's game was very close, and Washington barely lost in overtime. Not that there weren’t a few controversial calls in Notre Dame’s favor.

The other option is Hawaii. In 2007, when Hawaii went on to an undefeated regular season and a bid to the Sugar Bowl, Washington almost played spoiler.

Washington built a 28-7 lead halfway through the second quarter. After that it was all Hawaii. While Washington never found the end zone rest of the game, or even a field goal for that matter, Hawaii scored four more touchdowns, including the game-winner with less than a minute to play.

Washington and Hawaii have three more games set up through the 2015 season. I can only hope they could be as exciting as the 2007 meeting.


Washington State

Washington State University and the University of Idaho are only about eight miles apart, in the middle of nowhere. These two schools have played many times over the years, with Washington State holding a commanding lead at 70-18-3.

Up to 2008 Idaho and Washington State played each other 10 years in a row. Washington State went 8-2 through those games.

At this point, with Washington State being at quite a low point in the school's history and Idaho coming off one of its best at the Div. I-A level, I think renewing this rivalry could be quite entertaining.


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