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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Pac-12’s Fate Uncertain As Oregon, Washington Plan Exits

  • Oregon and Washington could be admitted to the Big Ten on Friday night.
  • Arizona is close to joining the Big 12, with Arizona State and Utah potentially on the way.
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

College sports’ conference realignment took another major turn on Friday. 

A source confirmed to Front Office Sports that Oregon and Washington are headed to the Big Ten. Meanwhile, Arizona appears to be moving to the Big 12, leaving the Pac-12 with just six schools — and possibly fewer.

Fox will be funding somewhere between $35 million to $40 million for each of the schools to join the Big Ten, the source told FOS, growing the conference to 18 teams. Arizona has reportedly applied for Big 12 membership and could be accepted soon. The moves would take effect in 2024.

The Pac-12 schools in question were not happy with a proposed media rights deal from Apple. Oregon and Washington aren’t even expected to receive a full share of the Big Ten’s media allotment, which could be $70 million per school as FOS previously reported, but they clearly still see more dollar signs jumping ship than staying put.

Should Arizona join the Big 12, it would be hard to imagine that Arizona State and Utah wouldn’t follow, boosting that conference to 16 teams.

What’s Next For Pac-12 Leftovers?

Within days, there could be just four Pac-12 schools remaining: Stanford, California, Oregon State, and Washington State.

From there, a variety of scenarios could play out.

Those schools could stick together and try to rebuild the Pac-12 with schools from the Mountain West, although exit fees could make that difficult. Each school could also contact the Big Ten, Big 12, or even ACC, if those conferences are open to further expansion.

Additionally, the remaining schools could be forced to join a non-Power Five conference in 2024. Stanford could reportedly explore becoming an independent school.

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