The college football landscape is about to experience its second massive shift in as many years.
Approximately 11 months after Texas and Oklahoma made waves by preparing to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, USC and UCLA are exploring a similarly seismic move with a move from the Pac-12 for the Big Ten as soon as 2024, according to multiple reports.
Pac-12 insider Jon Wilner was the first to report the potential transfer of college football powers, clarifying the move “has not been finalized” and talks are ongoing.
After Wilner’s report, several insiders confirmed the veracity of the plans, which would continue the consolidation of power across college football.
The Big 12 responded to losing Texas and Oklahoma by adding Group of Five wonders Cincinnati, Houston, UCF, and BYU. Whether the Pac-12 tries to fill out its ranks by similar means — or if more teams flock to the Big Ten — will be one of the biggest storylines going into the 2022 college football season.
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.
BENDER: Winners, losers from USC and UCLA’s stunning departure for the Big Ten
College football as an institution is in a state of flux. As name, image, and likeness conversations continue along with the transfer portal, these conference realignments illustrate a change in philosophy across the sport. If and when this becomes official (and it has a long way to get there), the Pac-12 will have to respond.
The Big Ten, of course, still has to approve the move and there’s always the question of money. But the wheels that have been set in motion are going to be hard to slow down.
Here’s the latest on USC and UCLA’s potential moves to the Big Ten.
This section will be updated as updates to the change come in.
The Pac-12 is going on the offensive, releasing a statement that says the league’s board of directors met Friday morning and “authorized the conference to explore all expansion options.”
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports says Oregon and Washington are awaiting word from the Big Ten on the possibility of following UCLA and USC to the conference. Big Ten officials have told them they are “standing pat” for now as they await word from the school that undoubtedly is their top target: Notre Dame.
Sources: Oregon and Washington have been told by @bigten that it is standing pat for now. Waiting on a decision by Notre Dame.
MORE: Will Notre Dame now join the Big Ten? The future of the Irish has become murky
The Big Ten announced the additions of UCLA and USC, saying in a statement that it continued the conference’s “legacy of transformation and innovation in college athletics.”
“The unanimous vote today signifies the deep respect and welcoming culture our entire conference has for the University of Southern California, under the leadership of President Carol Folt, and the University of California, Los Angeles, under the leadership of Chancellor Gene Block,” Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said in the statement. “I am thankful for the collaborative efforts of our campus leadership, athletics directors and Council of Presidents and Chancellors who recognize the changing landscape of college athletics, methodically reviewed each request, and took appropriate action based on our consensus.”
The Big Ten announced today that the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles will become conference members effective August 2, 2024, with competition to begin in all sports the 2024-25 academic year. https://t.co/DnwNMJSEe7
The Pac-12 Conference said in a statement it was “extremely surprised and disappointed” about the news of USC and UCLA leaving, but said it will continue developing programs to benefit its members.
“We look forward to partnering with current and potential members to pioneer the future of college athletics together,” the conference said in a statement.
DeCOURCY: If the Big Ten wants to get B1GGER, who are the most attractive candidates for expansion?
The two programs have announced their moves as being official now to the Big Ten:
OFFICIAL: USC will join the Big Ten Conference in 2024.
𝗕𝗜𝗚 news! UCLA is joining the Big Ten Conference at the start of the 2024-25 season! 👀
➡️: https://t.co/ygoY70o2bo#GoBruins pic.twitter.com/Cgj5orGhiI
It’s official: USC and UCLA have been accepted into the Big Ten, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel. They will join the league in 2024.
Sources: USC and UCLA have been notified that their application to join the Big Ten has been accepted. The schools will begin play in 2024.
Ross Dellenger is reporting the presidents in the Big Ten will vote to accept UCLA and USC into the conference. The vote is expected to be unanimous.
Meanwhile, the Pac-12’s presidents and athletic directors will call to discuss the move.
Big Ten presidents are set to vote to accept the application of membership from UCLA and USC this evening, sources tell @SINow.
It is expected to be unanimous.
Pac-12 presidents and ADs have a call this afternoon as well to discuss the issue.
Brett McMurphy reported the deal could be done by Friday, and the conference might continue to expand past 16 teams. Meanwhile, the Big 12 could look to add Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah.
USC & UCLA move to Big Ten should be completed by Friday & Big Ten may not stop at 16, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. Big 12 may get aggressive & look to add Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado & Utah. “We’re headed to super conferences,” source saidhttps://t.co/um8DBJVJ9s
According to Brett McMurphy, USC and UCLA approached the Big Ten about joining. The Big Ten, it appears wants to oblige.
USC & UCLA are expected to join Big Ten as early as 2024 season sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. 1st reported by @wilnerhotline. “It’s not official yet but I’d put it at 90 percent,” industry source said. Both Pac-12 schools initially approached Big Ten about joining, source said
While a given, Ross Delenger makes the salient point that conferences that aren’t the Big Ten or SEC now need to keep a close eye on their prestige schools. He names Oregon, Clemson, Florida State, and North Carolina asa specific targets. Stanford could also be a sleeper in that category.
Conferences outside the B1G & SEC with member teams that are attractive – hi rev, athletic success, big markets – should be worried those teams will leave for the new Power 2.
Would imagine that includes more Pac-12 teams such as Oregon, and ACC teams such as Clemson, FSU & UNC.