Pac-12 divisions announced – California schools will split

California captains' Chris Guarnero, Cameron Jordan, Mike Mohamed and Kevin Riley and USC captains watch referee Jack Folliard tosses a coin before the game against USC at LA Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. USC defeated California, 48-14. Photo via Newscom

When the Pac-10 officially becomes the Pac-12 next year the conference will have two divisions and the California schools will be split.

UCLA, USC, Arizona, Arizona State and newcomers Utah and Colorado will be in one division, while Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State will be in the other.

The conference needed the split in order to generate a “lucrative” title game in December, but it won’t make some traditionalists happy. Cal and USC have played every year since 1929, while Cal has played UCLA each season since 1933. Stanford has also played UCLA and USC every year since 1946.

Count USC athletic director Pat Haden as someone who doesn’t like how the new divisions are structured.

“I told [the rest of the athletic directors] my alumni will kill me if we don’t play the Northern California schools,” Haden said a week ago when word of the alignment leaked out.

“I proposed a 5-2-2 model that has us playing the five schools [in our division] every year and then have the Northern California schools as part of our regular two and then rotate the other two. We need to play Stanford and Cal.”

Haden’s proposal is pretty sound and it would satisfy those who were opposed to expansion because it’ll keep with the tradition that the conference has maintained over the past however many decades.

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