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Pac-12 Battle of the Bands: The Best Bests from the Pac-12 Schools

The Pac-12 has some serious musical chops.

Harry How

One of the most culturally and geographically conferences in the country, the Pac-12 schools are loaded with notable alumni in pretty much all walks of life and one thing the conference can brag about is massive roster of notable musicians, both solo and ones that were part of bands. So if the conference the NCAA was putting together a "Battle of the Bands" of sorts, the conference would be in a very comfortable position. So which musical acts could the conference choose from at each school? And which would be the best to go with?

If you think the wrong act was chosen, or if any were left off, feel free to chime in with a comment.


Linda Rondstadt - The Tucson native is the closest thing to a country option on the Pac-12 roster, Ronstadt will be a good asset for the conference to have in their back pocket to please the country lovers even though she is versatile enough to do just about anything.

Arizona State

The Gin Blossoms - Pretty much exclusively known for the 90s/Jack FM radio staple "Hey Jealousy," the band was fronted by ASU alum, and Tempe native Doug Hopkins, who committed suicide right when they broke through, but they still record and tour with one of those replacement singer types.

Other options - Steve Allen


Grateful Dead - Love them or hate them, the Dead have a nationwide, cultish group of fans and the band represents Cal well. Founding bass player, and Berkeley native, Phil Lesh attended Cal.

The Bears would have a very well-known pool of other bands to choose from though.

Other options - The Police (Stewart Copeland), Counting Crows (Adam Duritz), Third Eye Blind (Stephen Jenkins), Primus (Les Claypool), The Bangles (Susanna Hoffs) and AFI (Davey Havok and Jade Puget)


Trey Parker & Matt Stone - Pac-12 the musical comedy? Interesting choice, but they always seems to have occasional funny inclusions of the Denver Broncos in South Park so I think they could put together something awesome.

Other options - 3OH!3 and Glenn Miller Orchestra


Mat Kearney - He's not a household name, but he is the only one on here who already has experience with making a Pac-12 themed song with his pleading ballad aimed at Chip Kelly "Chip Don't Go."

Other options - The Cherry Poppin Daddies (Steve Perry) and The Decemberists (Colin Meloy)

Oregon State

No real notable musical acts from Oregon State, but they do have two Playboy Playmates of the Year, so that makes up for it.


The Airborne Toxic Event - Limited choices here from the Cardinal, but I remember thinking at one time that "Sometime Around Midnight" could possibly be a decent stadium song if played with a college marching band.

Other options - The Donnas (Torry Castellano)


The Doors - Okay, this isn't really possible since the two founding members, who were both UCLA students when they met, have passed, but it's impossible not to pick what might be LA's quintessential band, especially since their marquee members both were Bruins.

Other options - Red Hot Chili Peppers (Anthony Kiedis), Maroon 5 (Mickey Madden), Linkin Park (Brad Delson), Randy Newman, Sara Bareilles, Sonic Youth (Kim Gordon), Bad Religion (Greg Graffin)


Sugar Ray - The band, and their lead singer, who attended USC, Mark McGrath may kind of be a 90s punchline now, but that doesn't mean that a drunken crowd of college football fans wouldn't go nujts for "Fly."

Other options - Macy Gray?


Kaskade - Apparently Kaskade is some kind of DJ, and apparently going and listening to a DJ is something that is cool with the young go hards these days.


The Presidents of the United States of America - Soundgarden is a lot bigger, and immensely better, but I feel like TPOTUSOA are more fun and would embrace this type of thing a lot more.

Other options -Soundgarden (Kim Thayil), Kenny G! and Ryan Lewis.

Washington State

Game - There was always a long-running rumor at WSU that the rapper Game was brought up to Pullman on a basketball scholarship, but got kicked out of school almost immediately because he was dealing drugs and it sounds like it is true, at least the part that he went there, according to Wikipedia.