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Golden Nuggets: Getting to Know the Pac-12's Newest Members

On Friday we welcomed the Buffaloes and the Utes into the conference, now let's go over some fun facts from each school.  Hopefully the introduction of Ralphie to the conference will convince Cal Athletics that we need a live bear mascot at each home game if we want to compete in this new conference.

Mascot: Swoop, a red-tailed hawk

Famous alumni: Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, Gore-Tex inventor Bill Gore, political operative Karl Rove, speed-reading innovator Evelyn Wood, serial killer Ted Bundy, Marriott Hotel founder J. Willard Marriott, ex-49ers coach George Seifert and quarterback Alex Smith

Football history: The Utes, who play at 45,000-seat Rice-Eccles Stadium, rose to prominence under coach Urban Meyer in the early 2000s and have remained one of the most successful programs in the West. They are 33-6 in the past three years, defeated Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl and are considered one of the favorites in the Pac-12 South under coach Kyle Whittingham and offensive coordinator Norm Chow. Utah's conference opener is Sept. 10, at USC.


Mascot: Ralphie, an American bison

Famous alumni: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert, actor Larry Linville (Frank Burns on M*A*S*H), South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, actor Robert Redford, former Supreme Court Justice Byron White, basketball player Chauncey Billups and golfer Hale Irwin

Football history: Colorado, which plays at 54,000-seat Folsom Field, won the 1990 national championship and produced the 1994 Heisman Trophy winner (Rashaan Salaam). But the subsequent move to the Big 12 proved a bad fit culturally and competitively. The Buffs haven't posted a winning record since 2005, dismissing coach Dan Hawkins last year. His replacement is former Colorado player Jon Embree. The Buffs are projected to finish in the bottom half of the Pac-12 South. They face Cal on Sept. 10 in a nonconference game.

After the jump we have more on the Pac-12 expansion and crew wins the Henley Regatta in England.