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Urban Meyer Weighs in on USC, UCLA to Big Ten

Urban Meyer is no stranger to building a powerhouse in the Big Ten, leading Ohio State to a national title and one of the more prosperous runs in program history. On Thursday night, he addressed the league’s massive move to add USC and UCLA to the conference’s ranks, and believes the move will pay serious dividends to traditional Big Ten programs in the Midwest.

While Meyer hasn’t always understood some of the moves that have taken place in previous waves of conference realignment, he says he believes the two California schools will fit right in with their new conference mates.

“I’ve seen conference realignment like we all have over the years,” he told the Big Ten Network. “And to be quite honest with you, it didn’t make a lot of sense where this school’s gonna jump to this conference, and there’s not really a rivalry there. There’s not a foundation for recruiting. But this one makes sense to me. I heard about this a while back, and I was like, ‘Wow.’ I started scratching my head saying, ‘Can they really do this?’

“There are some great, great football players in Los Angeles that, when USC and UCLA are down, you can go cherry-pick them a little bit. But now, you’re going to see the floodgates open up in my opinion. Now those families are going to be able to watch their sons play. It makes a lot of sense to me, academically, reputation and natural rivalries between UCLA, USC and the Big Ten conference.”

Meyer may be sold, especially from a recruiting standpoint for the schools that can now build a pipeline to the West Coast. Even so, there are plenty of issues that have been raised in wake of the move, which became official Thursday night, just hours after the first reports emerged.

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Aside from the ushering in of superconferences, and the clear ramifications for college sports that will come from it, the move will now cause dozens of teams at USC and UCLA to travel at least 1,500 miles for virtually every road conference game. The move has spurred plenty of questions about the future of the Rose Bowl—college football’s most iconic postseason game—as well as some of the big rivalries that may be impacted.

Meyer may like the move right now, but it will be a while before we see the full ramifications of Thursday’s news on college sports as a whole.

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