- Update: this is a done deal. Applications from the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins for acceptance into the Big 10 have been approved. They’ll begin play in 2024.
There continues to be a major shakeup within the dynamics of college football. That could now include the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins bolting the Pac-12 for the Big-10 as early as the 2024 season.
You read that right. Two of the biggest schools on the west coast could join a conference that’s been defined by dominance from programs in the midwest and east coast.
Jon Wilner of Pac-12 Hotline was first to report the news Thursday afternoon. And it’s an absolute whopper. “Source: USC and UCLA are planning to leave for the Big Ten as early as 2024. Move ‘has not been finalized’ at the highest levels of power,” Wilner wrote on Twitter.
This comes on the heels of news that the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners are bolting the Big 12 for the SEC in the coming years. It’s a continuation of what promises to be something that sends shockwaves throughout the college football world.
Following Wilner’s tweet, The Athletic College Football writer Bruce Feldman confirmed the news with his own sources and then added the tasty nugget that it was the universities that reached out to the conference, and not the other way around. “My understanding is USC and UCLA reached out to the Big Ten.. certain legal parameters and bylaws need to be followed for obvious legal reasons,” Feldman wrote on Twitter.
Impact of USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins moving to the Big 10
Losing UCLA and USC would be a massive blow to the PAC-12. While Oregon has risen to a level to where they rival the notoriety of the two programs from California, they still do not have the same national marque value as USC and UCLA. Both Cali universities have storied histories in various college sports and are based in a major market for high-level athletics.
As far as the Big-10 goes, it is a massive coup for a conference that already has a slate of programs that nearly rivals the SEC for historic and brand notoriety. Adding UCLA and USC to a league that already includes the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Nebraska would lay the groundwork for a monumental shift in college sports and line the conference up for a major broadcast deal in the future.