The sky is blue, water is wet, and conference realignment never rests. Rumors have turn to a bit of reality as multiple sources across the college sports landscape have pointed to the reality of the University of Southern California and the University of California Los Angeles splitting from the PAC-12 to join the Big Ten.
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
This would be huge as both schools are charter members of the PAC-12 since the 1920’s. They are both large historic brands in football and basketball along with many other sports. They also fit the bill in terms of academics as they are both members of the AAU.
What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Well, a lot.
You now have probably the two top schools in the PAC-12 leaving for a rival conference. This leaves the other schools in the conference scrambling to find their next step. Do they pull in other schools to take their place like the Big 12? Possibly, however the amount of schools that would be good additions are fewer the farther west you go.
Do they all break out and fend for themselves? Maybe you see a few go to the Big 12? Maybe the Big Ten takes a couple more? How much are traveling budgets going to go up for Big Ten schools with California on the schedule? Does LA have a Hy-Vee?
At this point, there are a lot more questions than answers that will hopefully be sought out over the next few days. Or, maybe even hours.
USC & UCLA’s deal with the Big Ten could be done in a matter of days/hours, sources tell @SINow. It is down the line. B1G is prepared for an announcement.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) June 30, 2022
Target year 2024.
The schools expressed interest to B1G several months ago. Negotiations escalated over the last few weeks.
If anything, this is probably the next steps towards megaconferences that would span the United States. The NCAA blows up and we all start living in a utopian society. Everyone gets along except for when the overlords of Alabama or USC march into town and lay waste to whatever they come across. ESPN and Fox will constantly battle it out for prime games and Lee Corso will be put into a Warhammer suit so he can live for thousands of years and cover every single game for the foreseeable future.
This will be fun.
I know, many of you are traditionalists. This is the last thing you want to see. College sports of yesteryear are gone. I get it. Trust me I do. But, you can’t stand in the way of progress and this progression has been moving this way for years. Many years. While this did pop up out of the blue it has been in movement for quite some time of you’ve been following close enough.
Hey, as long as the California schools bring their taco trucks to the away games, I think I will be good with it.