USC, UCLA looking to leave Pac-12 for Big Ten in 2024, though deal not yet finalized

(AP photo/Mark J. Terrill (custom credit))
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 2:08 PM EDT
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Pac-12 powerhouses USC and UCLA are involved in discussions to leave the conference for the Big Ten as early as the 2024 athletic season, sources tell CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander. Though the move is not yet final and still in the discussion stages, it appears as if the Big Ten is aiming to make a significant acquisition that will change the college sports landscape.

“Everything is on the table,” a Pac-12 source tells Norlander.

The transition of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten would be similar to the one that rocked college sports last summer when Texas and Oklahoma opted to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, a move set to transpire ahead of the 2025 season.

That kicked off a realignment bonanza in which the Big 12, American and other conferences saw teams move in and out of their membership. A similar situation will likely occur here if USC and UCLA formalize and announce their intentions to depart the Pac-12.

In acquiring the Trojans and Bruins, the Big Ten would transform from largely a midwest conference to one that extends to the West Coast. It would be a significant shift in the college sports landscape at the Power Five level, which has largely been localized with teams mostly belonging to conferences in their geographic area.

USC and UCLA would bring the Big Ten to a total of 16 teams, the same as the SEC once Texas and Oklahoma enter their fold. It would be a significant coup for fourth-year Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren, the first Power Five boss to cancel the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The San Jose Mercury-News’ Jon Wilner first reported that USC and UCLA were planning to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.

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