Jon Wilner of the Pac-12 Hotline is reporting a major development on Thursday in stating USC and UCLA are actively working to join the Big Ten. If the move occurs, it will result in major ramifications across college athletics.
Source: USC and UCLA are planning to leave for the Big Ten as early as 2024. Move *has not been finalized* at the highest levels of power.— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) June 30, 2022
Conference realignment reemerged as a hot topic last year when news broke that Oklahoma and Texas were joining the SEC. Credit Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and the rest of the league for apparently working to counter the move by maneuvering to add USC and UCLA ever since. If it does happen, the Big Ten is well positioned along with the SEC to become the two major conferences in college athletics. If it becomes a reality, both leagues will earn significantly more revenue from television contracts than other current power conferences that the competition level will be skewed permanently.
It’s also possible that the Big Ten continues to add schools and becomes a league of 20 or so teams. Look for other Pac-12 teams like Stanford, Oregon, Washington and Colorado to be of interest. The most desirable schools from the ACC, Big XII and along with the Pac-12 could help make the Big Ten and SEC two true super conferences.
As this story continues to develop, one thing is certain. Rutgers has a seat at the table in major college athletics as a member of the Big Ten. That fact became even more apparent on Thursday as the landscape continues to shift.
Spoke to a few sources who called USC and UCLA's move to the Big Ten a formality, with a press conference expected in next 24 hours. Perhaps as soon as tonight. This is essentially done.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) June 30, 2022
UPDATE: It’s official!