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The Big Ten was reportedly “evaluating the significance” of adding a quartet of Pac-12 teams (Oregon, Cal, Stanford and Washington) to the conference, but Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reported that interest has since cooled off:
“Following the anxiety caused the other day regarding further Big Ten expansion, industry sources have indicated the Big Ten is not any longer as thinking about adding California, Oregon, Stanford and Washington. Rightsholders were balking at paying exactly the same amount for all those schools because the 16 Big Ten schools in the years ahead ($80 million-$100 million).
“While those four programs may eventually have options, the Big Ten is focusing on its new deal in 2023 while attempting to lure Notre Dame, which includes an open invitation. A lot more stakeholders now believe the Fighting Irish will ultimately stay independent.”
The Big Ten currently has 14 institutions, however the conference is adding USC and UCLA in to the fold in 2024.
The Big Ten finds itself ready of great power with the addition of two powerhouse college sports programs in California, expanding the conference’s footprint to the West Coast. The league doesn’t invariably need to expand any more after picking right up USC and UCLA, even though Notre Dame rumors still persist.
The Big Ten and SEC, that may likewise have 16 teams after Oklahoma and Texas join the mix in 2025, ultimately will stand as a set of superconferences in a couple of years time.
The largest question is exactly what will become of the Pac 12 without two of its most recognizable programs. The conference has recently revealed that it is looking at expansion, although that news comes as other conference schools are linked to other leagues.
Dodd notably reported that Oregon alum and Nike founder Phil Knight was calling other leagues on his alma mater’s behalf.
There is talk of the Big 12 and Pac 12 joining forces, however the former reportedly walked from the table on that front, per ESPN’s Pete Thamel.
Since it stands now, the Pac 12 could have 10 teams in a couple of years’ time unless the conference realignment carousel continues to go. The Big 12 already successfully added four schools (Houston, UCF, Cincinnati and BYU), also it remains to be viewed if the Pac 12 can engineer an identical expansion aswell.