USC and UCLA plan to move from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten as early as 2024, according to college football insider Jon Wilner. The deal has not been finalized at this time but would provide another major shakeup in the landscape of college athletics.
Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger later confirmed that the two schools have entered negotiations with the Big Ten. He added that “teams are jockeying” to gain membership in the Big Ten and SEC.
USC and UCLA are not only two of the Pac-12’s most successful schools across athletics, but are two of the largest brands in the country which offer a new market opportunity for the Big Ten. While they fall far outside the current geographic landscape of the conference, the move promises to provide great financial benefit for all parties.
The move would serve as the next major domino to fall in conference realignment after Texas and Oklahoma announced their intention to join the SEC by 2025. As conference commissioners failed to come to a resolution on a College Football Playoff format, the race to stockpile blue-blood programs together seems to be heating up.
More about USC, UCLA and the Big Ten
USC and UCLA have been members of the same conference, while under many different names throughout the years, since the late 1920s. Over the years in what became the Pac-12, the city rivals have established themselves as two of the biggest brands in sports while dominating the Los Angeles – and by extension the West Coast – market.
A potential move to the Big Ten would unite the two programs with football powerhouse programs like Ohio State and Michigan, in addition to multiple perineal Top 25 programs across multiple sports which make up the remainder of the conference’s 14-team membership.
As USC and UCLA plan this potential move to a new conference, it promises to set off more talks and more negotiations across college football as the moves of Texas and Oklahoma did last summer.