So did you know that the first football game in Pac-10 history was played here in Seattle?
Indeed it was, Sept, 9, 1978, as UW hosted UCLA. The Bruins won 10-7 (same score as a memorable game in 1982 between the two in Seattle that was won instead by the Huskies).
I had a chance to talk with former UW coach Don James the other day and asked him if he remembered that trivia and he said he didn’t, saying not much was made of the fact that game was the first for the new conference.
James, though, did recall that he initially wasn’t in favor of expansion.
“Mike Lude (then the UW athletic director) didn’t support it and I didn’t support it from a selfish standpoint,” he said. “I always used the example that if I owned a paint shop, I wouldn’t want two more paint shops coming into the same block. It was more competition and they could come into our area and recruit and we had to go into theirs.”
James, though, said he came around to accepting the Pac-10, noting that what mattered most was UW becoming a winning program.
“Originally, you thnk two more Sun Belt teams are coming in and they will be more attractive maybe to Northwest kids who will want to go to the Sun Belt,” he said. “But the real change for us was the fact was that we did get into the (1978) Rose Bowl and win and then into the (1979) Sun Bowl and win and our program started to come along.”
Ultimately, he said that was the lesson of expansion — take care of your own business and don’t worry much about the change taking place around you.
That’ll be worth recalling this year as the Pac-10 becomes the Pac-12, a move that officially takes hold today.
The conference unveiled its new website today to celebrate the birth of its new lineup.
And Bud Withers of our staff, who was there for all of the Pac-10 era, looks back and ahead in his column today.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— UPDATE, 10:30 A.M. — Yahoo.com has a detailed story today on the evolving situation at Oregon that’s sure to make some waves.
— UW commits Cyler Miles and Jeff Lindquist have each been invited to the Elite 11 Camp.
— Miller also ranked UW’s 1991 squad as the best team of the Pac-10 Era.
— UW finished No. 21 in the 2010-11 Director’s Cup.
— More on what might be going on with Arizona WR Juron Criner (and by the way, Bruce Cooper is the father of the late Marquis Cooper, the former UW linebacker).
And a quick editor’s note — given the pending holiday weekend and possible lack of any real news, this may the last post here for a few days.