Skip to main content

Here’s How USC, UCLA’s Move to Big Ten Got Started

On the day when NBA was expected to dominate sports headlines with free agency beginning, news broke that USC and UCLA are in negotiations to leave the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten, sources told Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger.

But it was not the Big Ten who approached the two programs to leave the Pac-12. It was the other way around. 

Sources told Dellenger that the two programs’ message to the Big Ten boiled down to they were leaving and does the conference want them. A Big Ten source said to Dellenger, “You have to be a moron to not think about it. They would have gone somewhere else if we said ’no.’”

The conference formed an expansion committee and spent the last several months “discussing the possibility,” according to Dellenger. Why? “Something was going to happen to combat the Texas and Oklahoma move,” a source told Dellenger

Scroll to Continue

SI Recommends

The USC and UCLA deal could be completed in the matter of days or even hours and that the Big Ten “is prepared for an announcement,” Dellenger reports. Interest of joining was expressed months ago, and the target year will be 2024.

One question many are wondering is what happens to the Alliance? This was formed last summer after the SEC added Oklahoma and Texas, but as The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach reported, “it was, as we know, a handshake agreement” among the other three conferences—Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12. The essence was for them to help stabilize college football. Now? 

A Big Ten source said to Dellenger, “Well, it probably ceases to exist now.”

More College Sports Coverage: