The Big Ten is set to add a pair of major West Coast powerhouses to its ranks, and the move could be done as early as 2024. According to Jon Wilner, both USC and UCLA are now expected to spurn the Pac-12 and bolt for the Big Ten in a move that could come to fruition by the 2024 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.
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) June 30, 2022
While the move has yet to be made official, it’s widely expected to go through, with two of the biggest teams in the Pac-12 preparing to leave the conference.
This is a huge buff for the Big Ten, which will be adding a pair of premier college football programs to the conference. Obviously, the Pac-12 losing two powerhouse programs such as USC and UCLA will be tough to stomach, as the conference just took a major hit in terms of its status. The league was reportedly “blindsided” by the decision from the two programs.
Part of the reason USC and UCLA were eager to leave the conference was the programs reportedly felt that playing games in the “Pac-12 after dark” market made recruitment more difficult, with less exposure for their games. A move to the Big Ten will see the programs play games earlier and against more notable opponents, giving them the upper hand in terms of recruitment.
All eyes will be on the remaining top schools in the Pac-12, most notably Oregon, to see if they get poached by one of college football’s top conferences.
This is the first expansion of the Big Ten since both Rutgers and Maryland joined the conference in 2014.