New Year's Eve is a time to reflect on the past year or decades, including changes in conferences and regional play among college football teams. Among the biggest pieces of news in college football this year was the announced move of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, taking college football two steps further down the post-regional conference road. So, it's worth recalling how much more regional college football was by looking at a 1932 composite schedule for Pacific Coast teams.
Created for customers of the Central Bank in Oakland, the composite shows the schedules for seven of ten Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) teams (UCLA, Idaho, and Montana are missing). It also inserts three teams of greater interest to Oakland football fans: St. Mary's, Santa Clara, and the Olympic Club. The ten teams largely played one another, with the West Coast Army, West Coast Navy, San Diego Marines, and a few others thrown in for good measure.
At a time when the Rose Bowl was the only bowl game around, three schools got late or postseason visits from teams east of the Mississippi. Oregon State and St. Mary's also played late-season games with Fordham in the Bronx. In addition, the Olympic Club played Nevada in Reno, and USC played Pitt in the 1933 Rose Bowl. All other games occurred among teams in the PCC territory, so only seven of eighty-nine (8%) games involved teams outside the conference footprint.
By comparison, the seven listed schools still playing football in 2022 played 36 of 90 or 40 percent of their regular and postseason games against opponents outside the PCC's 1932 footprint. (Arizona, Colorado, and Utah did not have schools in the PCC during its existence.) USC beginning Big Ten play will exacerbate the trend.
That is it for Football Archaeology in 2022. All the best in the New Year, and may all your team's resolutions come true!
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