In 1952 the league voted that beginning with the 1956 season all teams – except Idaho – would be required to play a round-robin schedule. Although it may have seemed like a boon for Idaho at the time – not having to travel to California and be soundly beaten by the big schools – it was really a harbinger of things to come. The rule also dropped Idaho from the PCC football standings and made them ineligible for the Rose Bowl. Even though Idaho’s faculty representative was also elected president of the faculty committee, Idaho’s influence in the PCC was quickly evaporating. Idaho wasn’t alone in its weariness of playing the bigger California schools. Oregon State’s president Strand also voiced concern on the behalf of the Beavers, speaking of certain schools “treading on the outer edges of conference rules”.
In an ironic scheduling quirk of 1952, Idaho traveled to California and faced an out of conference opponent in the Santa Clara Broncos. Idaho would lose the game and Santa Clara would call it quits after the season ended, dropping football.
University president Buchanan expressed Idaho’s displeasure with the league, citing the California schools’ unwillingness to come to Moscow. He even predicted the tumult that would destroy the league in the near future.
Here are some highlights from the 1952 PCC season. The discussion of Idaho begins around the 1:00 mark and the footage includes some great footage of Neale Stadium. Also featured in the video is Idaho legend and Vandal hall of famer Wayne Anderson. He is still one of Idaho’s top quarterbacks…and punters of all time.
Wayne Anderson was also the hero of the 1952 edition of the Utah-Idaho rivalry. With Idaho trailing the Utes in the closing minutes of the game, Anderson lead Idaho on a game tying drive in the final minutes of the game. A back and forth game ended in a 21-21 tie.