The Big Ten’s footprint is reportedly expanding out west.
It looks like Southern California will soon be Big Ten country as USC and UCLA are reportedly planning to leave the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten Conference as early as 2024, Jon Wilner reports.
According to Wilner, however, the deal “has not been finalized at the highest levels of power.”
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
The news comes nearly a year after Texas and Oklahoma were officially invited to leave the Big 12 and join the SEC. Both schools are currently expected to become league members of the SEC in the summer of 2025, meaning there’s a chance USC and UCLA join the Big Ten before Texas and Oklahoma formally join the SEC.
If USC and UCLA are to join the Big Ten, it would stretch the conference’s footprint from coast to coast. The Big Ten currently has two member schools in states on the United State’s east coast – Rutgers and Maryland – and the new additions would give the conference two schools in a west coast state.
This addition would mark the Big Ten’s first expansion since the conference added Maryland and Rutgers ahead of the 2014 athletic season. The Big Ten also added Nebraska in 2011 and Penn State in 1990, marking the only four additions to the conference in the last 70 years.