USC and UCLA are in talks to join the Big Ten conference as soon as 2024, Jon Wilner of the Bay Area News Group reported Thursday.
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
Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic reported later in the afternoon that Big Ten presidents and chancellors will vote on Friday evening on whether to accept USC and UCLA into the conference.
The Big Ten chancellors and presidents have a meeting scheduled for 6pm ET tonight to vote on the addition of USC & UCLA, sources told @TheAthletic.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) June 30, 2022
It's expected to be a formality, of course.
The Pac-12’s current roster has not changed since Colorado and Utah joined in 2011. The Big Ten’s last realignment came with the entrances of Rutgers and Maryland in 2014.
The new-era of realignment became a reality last year when Texas and Oklahoma finalized plans to leave the Big-12 for the SEC. In response, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston announced they would join the Big-12.
Based on location alone, two of the conference’s biggest money-makers in USC and UCLA are now expected to be gone, weakening the Pac-12’s reputation in comparison to the other expanding Power Five conferences. Arizona State, located in the next-biggest metropolitan setting in the conference, will be expected to make a corresponding move.
Will the Big Ten go on the offensive and continue its Manifest Destiny, targeting more Pac-12 schools such as ASU? Should ASU target a move to the Big-12, keeping a regional footprint while not lagging behind the times?
The situation will be monitored closely over the coming days.