The Big Ten may have just sparked another round of major conference realignment.
USC and UCLA are reportedly planning to leave the Pac-12 – and could do so by 2024, according to The Mercury News.
A deal could finalized by Friday, according to the Action Network, and the Big Ten could add additional schools. The report also noted that other Pac-12 schools could exit — Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah — could end up joining the Big 12.
USC and UCLA are two iconic members of the Pac-12, a league that has struggled in recent years to sustain its historic football prowess. The news comes just a year after the Pac-12 brought in George Kliavkoff as the new commissioner.
The moves could also have major implications for media rights.
- The Big Ten has been negotiating a new deal that could be worth $1 billion annually.
- With the additions of major brand names like USC and UCLA, the numbers would likely be even higher.
- Without schools in the Los Angeles market, the Pac-12 could be at a catastrophic disadvantage at negotiations for media rights, which are up in 2024.
There could be logistical financial concerns, however, as most Big Ten schools are in the Midwest. UCLA and USC would have to contend with significant travel costs. The Big Ten’s easternmost schools are Rutgers, Maryland, and Penn State.