We’re exactly one year away from the Big Ten officially adding USC and UCLA, but the conference does not appear to be slowing down as it has more Pac-12 schools on its radar.
The Big Ten is taking a preliminary look at the possibility of adding Washington, Oregon, Cal and Stanford from the Pac-12, Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday.
Washington and Oregon are the priority, if the conference opts to expand to 18 schools, but if it is to move to 20 teams, Cal and Stanford would be next up.
The discussions are reportedly in the very early stages and no decision is imminent.
Statement from the Big Ten:
The Big Ten Conference is still focused on integration of USC and UCLA but it’s also commissioner’s job to keep conference chancellors and presidents informed about new developments as they occur.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 2, 2023
The news of the potential expansion comes just two days after news broke that Colorado would be departing the Pac-12 for the Big 12, leaving the Pac-12 with just nine schools in 2024.
Pac-12 Schools As of 2024
- Arizona (M/W swim & dive) – rumored to Big 12
- Arizona State (M/W swim & dive) – rumored to Big 12
- Cal (M/W swim & dive) – rumored to Big Ten
- Oregon (No swim & dive) – rumored to Big Ten
- Oregon State (No swim & dive)
- Stanford (M/W swim & dive) – rumored to Big Ten
- Utah (M/W swim & dive) – rumored to Big 12
- Washington (No swim & dive) – rumored to Big Ten
- Washington State (W swim & dive)
USC (M/W swim & dive)– left for Big Ten UCLA (W swim & dive)– left for Big Ten Colorado (No swim & dive)– left for Big 12
However, that number was at risk of further dwindling even prior to today’s reports, with speculation that Arizona would follow Colorado to the Big 12 ramping up immediately after the Colorado news broke. Arizona State and Utah are also reported to be pondering making the jump.
If the Pac-12 does ultimately fall apart, the Big Ten adding a six-team West Coast flank “is a real possibility,” according to Yahoo Sports.
Sources also told Yahoo Sports‘ Dan Wetzel that the Big Ten may choose to wait and see what happens with the Big 12 and Arizona, ASU and Utah before making any decision on further expansion.
On Tuesday, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff presented a media rights package to his membership that was reliant on games appearing on an Apple Tv+ subscription streaming service, with annual revenue estimates in the $20 million per school range.
The Pac-12’s value has dropped significantly since the announced departure of USC and UCLA last year, as they lost the Los Angeles media market and now remain without a rights deal beyond the 2023-24 campaign.
For context, Big Ten schools will receive a minimum of $50 million a year with games primarily appearing on linear television networks such as CBS, Fox and NBC. The Big 12 has a $31.7 million per year package per school.
If the Pac-12 does end up remaining together and need to add more schools, San Diego State (Mountain West Conference) and SMU (American Athletic Conference) have been linked as potential additions.
If Cal and Stanford did end up in the Big Ten, the Golden Bears would immediately become the conference’s top men’s swim & dive team as the two-time defending NCAA champions, while the Cardinal women, despite losing a massive name in Claire Curzan this week, would be the number one female program.