The 5th ranked Broncos return to the Blue for Homecoming this weekend against UC Davis in what should be a glorified scrimmage. UC Davis' common opponent with the Broncos this year is Fresno State—and the Aggies fell to the Bulldogs 51-0 in their season opener—so all signs point to a rough go of things for the Aggies this Saturday. The only real intrigue on the field will be seeing if the Broncos can remain conscious throughout, but UC Davis brings some different intrigue to the matchup, as they share closer ties with the Broncos than some might realize. Needless to say, there is a lot to be learned about this week's foe (don't worry, Kellen Moore already knows their defense intimately)...so let's all give the Aggies a closer look through the magic of factoids and childish jokes. It's time to get to know your enemy, Bronco Nation...so take notes.
Ten things Bronco fans probably didn't know about UC Davis and their quaint Cali campus
10) To say that coach Jim Sochor turned the UC Davis program around would be an understatement. Chris Petersen's mentor took the reigns of the Davis program in 1970...prior to which no coach had left with even a .500 win percentage (dating back to 1915). Sochor coached the program for 19 years and left with a 78% win percentage (155-42-5) and 18 NCACC championships or co-championships. For those in need of a metaphor, this is like someone taking charge of the Washington Generals and leading them to 18 straight wins over the Harlem Globetrotters.
9) Now that's what I call futility. The 1917 Davis football team was outscored 172-7 under coach Jack Glasscock's *snicker* tutelage. The worst defeat for the team that year was a 111-0 trouncing...at the hands of a high school team from Sacramento. Injury, meet insult. The team was so demoralized by the 1917 campaign that they didn't even field a team the following year. The most amazing part of this factoid? There is actually more than one person named Jack Glasscock *snicker*. This dude was an elite baseball player in the late 1800s. Crackerjack!
8) Although the UC Davis student body embraces the popular "Aggie" moniker, the official mascot of the athletics programs is a mustang (a constipated looking one, at that). The mustang's official name is Gunrock, which isn't a kick-ass new form of heavy metal, but rather an homage to a Thoroughbred of the same name that had been brought to the campus in 1921 to provide high-quality stock for the U.S. Army Cavalry.
"Do they sell Metamucil® for blue horses?"
7) In 1911, the first UC Davis campus newspaper, Agricola, was founded. That same year, 3 out of 5 people preferred Agricola to Pepsi Cola in a nationwide taste test.
6) Though the Davis campus was founded in 1908, the first female students didn't arrive until 1914. They would have been there sooner, but they were all in the bathroom fixing their hair and makeup.
5) In 1977, Prince Charles visited the UC Davis campus. Not sure why exactly, but I think it may have something to do with his affinity for horses. Boom, roasted.
4) The University of California, Davis was founded in 1908 as the "University Farm". The school was founded with the intent to teach agriculture in an applied fashion to the students of Cal Berkeley. Luckily, Cal Berkeley no longer has access to the "farm", as you can probably imagine what a group of green-thumbed hippies would be interested in growing...and no, it isn't basil.
A simpler time when college campuses featured their own creameries
3) Boise State head coach Chris Petersen was the starting quarterback at UC Davis in 1985 and 1986 after playing his first two years of ball at Sacramento City College. Petersen was actually recruited to Davis by their current coach, Bob Biggs, and Pete led the team to two conference championships and a 19-3 overall record. Pete still holds the school record at Davis for lowest interception percentage (2.53%) and is in the top ten in several statistical categories with his 6,095 yards of total offense and 42 career TDs. If you add Pete's playing record and his coaching record together, he is 58-7 all-time. What a loser.
2) In 1943, all instruction was halted at UC Davis as the U.S. Army Signal Corps took over the campus and converted it into a training center. Normal operations were not started again until 1945. The U.S. Signal Corps employed Julius Rosenberg from 1940 to 1945. You may remember that Rosenburg and his wife, Ethel were later executed by the U.S. government for selling secrets (specifically about the proximity fuze) to the Soviet Union. See...this one had a happy ending.
1) Since 1909, the city of Davis (formerly known as Davisville) has hosted an event called Picnic Day. The student-run event takes place every April and anyone who ever called Davis home or attended UC Davis is invited to come back to town and campus and mill around aimlessly. The event is basically a large open-house, but features a parade, battle-of-the-bands, and numerous exhibitions. Picnic Day has largely been a success year in and year out because Yogi Bear hasn't yet caught wind of it.