The Pac-10 today invited the University of Utah to join the league. The university board of trustees will meet Thursday morning to decide, and a press conference will follow around noon.
Here’s a quick look at what is likely to be the conference’s 12th member:
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah.
Nickname: Utes, officially adopted in 1972 and used with the permission of the Ute Tribal Council.
Colors: Crimson and white.
Athletic traditions: The school competes with Brigham Young and Utah State for the Beehive Boot. The “Block U” was built in the foothills bordering the campus 103 years ago and is illuminated for athletic events. The student fan club, called the MUSS, does the “third-down jump,” making noise even time the opposing football team faces a third down. The Pride of Utah Marching Utes perform the “Utah Man Fight Song.”
Football: 605-420-31 in its 116-year history. Utes are 12-3 in bowl games, including wins over Alabama and Pittsburgh in its two BCS bowl appearances. Five top-25 finishes, including a No. 2 ranking in 2008 and No. 4 in 2004. Went 10-3 last season.
Men’s basketball: Won 1944 national championship and finished as runner-up in 1998. Nine Sweet 16 appearances. Eleventh nationally in all-time victories and winning percentage. Twenty-nine conference titles. Thirty-five NCAA tournament victories in 27 appearances. Went 14-17 last season.
Other sports: Only school ever to produce the No. 1 NFL and NBA draft picks in the same year: quarterback Alex Smith and center Andrew Bogut. Gymnastics team has 10 national titles. Men and women’s ski teams have 10 national titles. Women’s basketball has averaged over 20 wins per season since 1974. Softball team has qualified for NCAA tournament 18 times. Women’s soccer has made the tournament five of the last eight seasons.
Athletic website: utahutes.cstv.com.
Prominent alumni: Pong inventor Nolan Bushnell, Pixar Animation Studios president Ed Catmull; “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” author Stephen Covey; former BYU football coach LaVell Edwards; Gore-Tex fabric inventor Bill Gore; Jarvik-7 artificial heart inventor Robert Jarvik; Marriott International founder J. Willard Marriott; two-time Super Bowl-winning coach George Seifert; speed-reading pioneer Evelyn Wood.