Report: UCLA and USC set to join Big Ten as early as 2024
Chaos and college football.
The Big Ten conference currently has 14 teams, but the conference is reportedly about to undergo dramatic changes.
USC and UCLA are “planning” to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten “as early as 2024,” according to the Mercury News’ Jon Wilner.
Last summer, the college football world saw the SEC pull away from Oklahoma and Texas from the Big 12, causing the Big 12 to ponder what is best for the conference.
Another reaction to the move was that the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC planned to create a schedule alliance, but nothing came of that alliance until now.
With the reported addition of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, college football is gearing up to change from five power conferences to just the SEC and the Big Ten running the show.
This stunning move could create urgency across the entire college football landscape to make the next move in this ongoing game of musical chairs.
If USC and UCLA get their wish, the Pac-12 would be hurt in a massive way, similar to how the Big 12 was after Texas and Oklahoma announced their move.
With the two programs reportedly leaving, the future of the other programs in the Pac-12, such as Oregon and Washington, becomes uncertain.
The NCAA offered a potential clue about the future of mega-divisions in the spring when it said divisions were no longer required to play a conference championship game.
The ACC and the Pac-12 announced their plans to eliminate divisions, but the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC have yet to release their plans for a division merge.
Details are still slim about the logistics of USC and UCLA joining the Big Ten, how team travel would work, and if all sports would be part of the move.
If college football becomes two super divisions, it will be interesting to see where programs such as Clemson and Florida State end up.
Another effect this move has is on the Rose Bowl.
The Rose Bowl takes place on New Year’s Day between the conference champions from the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences or their predecessors.
However, with this move and the potential of college football becoming just two super conferences, bowl games such as the Rose Bowl may not continue.
For Penn State, this move comes when the program is changing athletic directors, as current athletic director Sandy Barbour announced her retirement earlier this year.
After Barbour ran the show for eight years, Penn State hired former Boston College and Temple Athletic Director Patrick Kraft to take over.
With a focus on serving the student-athlete, Kraft mentioned his goal is to make the Penn State student-athlete experience the best in the country.
“It takes this institution to help you achieve every aspect of every goal you have,” Kraft said. “We transform their lives, and I don’t take that responsibility lightly. My passion is for the student-athlete. Their experience is paramount.”
USC and UCLA’s move to the Big Ten has yet to be finalized, but if this rumor becomes true, college football is in for major changes.
Alex Rocco is a rising junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.