In a wild turn of events, the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins are officially moving to the Big Ten in 2024. It leaves the Pac-12 in a tough spot, as the conference loses two elite sporting programs. We’ll see how this all plays out, as rumors are swirling about other teams looking to make the switch as well.
Even so, the Pac-12 delivered a statement regarding USC and UCLA’s shocking conference change. They claim they “are extremely surprised and disappointed by the news.” Additionally, they also state, “we look forward to partnering with current and potential members to pioneer the future of college athletics together.”
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) July 1, 2022
The Pac-12’s best bet right now is to find new schools to join its conference. Fresno State and San Diego State stand out as possible candidates to join a much more well-respected conference. Both of those schools are decently sized and would greatly benefit from making the switch. As for the Big Ten, they absorb USC and UCLA after a quick unanimous vote on Thursday.
It seemed to be a no-brainer move for the Big Ten to bring in USC and UCLA, as a Sports Illustrated source claims, “You have to be a moron to not think about it. They would have gone somewhere else if we said ‘no.'” So, the Pac-12 will be busy searching for schools to replace them while attempting to maintain the top programs within the conference.
After watching USC and UCLA leave for the Big Ten, opposing programs like the University of Oregon, University of Washington, and Stanford all have to be sending feelers out about potentially switching conferences as well. Keep an eye on the Pac-12, as there could be more major changes coming.