Top five teams UCLA Football fans will miss playing

On August 2nd, 2024 UCLA will officially become a member of the Big Ten conference. Here is a look a five teams who were are part of the Pac-12 that the Bruins will no longer play on a regular basis.
UCLA / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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Here is a look at UCLA's top five football opponents that fans will miss seeing the Bruins play on an nearly annual basis.

UCLA v Washington State
UCLA v Washington State / William Mancebo/GettyImages

Honorable Mention: Washington State

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Since 1928, UCLA and Washington State have competed against one another on the football field. The Cougars won 11 straight games from 1938 to 1957, dominating the Bruins early in the series between these two universities. UCLA defeated Washington State in a run of 12 straight games from 1967 to 1978, during which time the Bruins were unbeatable. The Bruins have defeated the Cougars by large margins in some of these games, as they did in 1976 when they triumphed 62–3 over Washington State. Since 2008, UCLA has performed admirably against Washington State winning seven of the last nine times they have played one another. The Bruins are ahead in the series overall, 41-21-1, and unfortunately, it is unlikely these two teams will play one another in the near future.

Washington State like Oregon State were the only two schools of what will be the former Pac-12 conference to not join one of the Power Four conferences. UCLA along with USC, Oregon, and Washington are joining the Big Ten for the 2024 season Cal and Stanford are joining the ACC conference and finally, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Arizona State are joining the Big 12 conference

No UCLA fan (to our knowledge at least) is claiming that the Cougars are a main rival of the Bruins but in the day in age of conference realignment and the possibility of even a super league forming in college football, the long history of teams like UCLA and Washington State playing one another on a nearly annual basis on the football field is fading.

The 2019 high scoring game between these two teams was a classic as the won by four in a game that totaled 130 points. The last six games played between the Cougars and Bruins were determined by single digit victories. College football fans as a whole will not miss the games between UCLA and Washington State but them not playing one another as part of the Pac-12 will be missed by more fans than people would think.

In Summary

In the past 10 meetings between these two universities on the football field, UCLA has prevailed six times over Washington State.

The Bruins have defeated the Cougars in three of the previous five meetings in this former conference rivalry.

The best matchup between these two universities may have been when the Bruins won a historic game in 1985 that ended with UCLA winning 31–30 after a very close contest between these two teams.

To be fair, there were periods when these two programs did not play one another in football. From 2020-2022, 2013-2014, 1999-2000, and 1959-1966 Washington State and UCLA did not play each other in football.

While the games were exciting to watch between these two football programs, this rivalry doesn't hold the same weight for UCLA compared to rivalries steeped in tradition and proximity.

With the conference realignment and UCLA moving to the Big Ten, the rivalry's future is very uncertain. However, if both teams remain competitive and meet in a possible bowl matchup, it could be an entertaining clash between these two former traditional Pac-12 teams.