Oregon, Washington to leave Pac-12, join Big Ten in 2024

By Kevin Kelley -

The Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies will join the Big Ten in 2024, the conference officially announced on Friday.

“We are excited to welcome the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to the Big Ten Conference,” said Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti. “We look forward to building long-lasting relationships with the universities, administrators and staff, student-athletes, coaches and fans,” Petitti said. “Both institutions feature a combination of academic and athletic excellence that will prove a great fit for our future.”

Oregon and Washington are the second and third schools to depart the Pac-12 recently, following the Colorado Buffaloes, who are moving to the Big 12 Conference.

“I’m thrilled that the University of Oregon has the opportunity to join the nation’s preeminent academic-athletic conference,” said University of Oregon President John Karl Scholz. “Our student-athletes will participate at the highest level of collegiate athletic competition, and our alumni, friends, and fans will be able to carry the spirit of Oregon across the country.”

Also leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten in 2024 are the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans, which was officially announced last summer.

“The Big Ten is a thriving conference with strong athletic and academic traditions, and we are excited and confident about competing at the highest level on a national stage,” said University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce. “My top priority must be to do what is best for our student-athletes and our University, and this move will help ensure a strong future for our athletics program.”

Oregon and Washington were members of the Pac-12 Conference since its inception in 1915. It was known as the Pacific Coast Conference at the time, before later adopting the names Big Five, Big Six, Pacific-8, and Pacific-10.

With the addition of Oregon, Washington, USC, and UCLA, the Big Ten will expand to a total of 18 members spanning from coast-to-coast.

Per Brett McMurphy of Action Network, Oregon and Washington “…will not immediately receive full shares in the Big Ten’s new media rights deal with FOX, CBS and NBC but will still make more than they would have by remaining in the Pac-12, sources said.”

What will happen to the remaining Pac-12 schools? Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah will reportedly announce soon that they are joining the Big 12 Conference, per McMurphy.

That would leave the Pac-12 in shambles with only California, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State. Here’s more from Brett McMurphy.

With additional schools leaving the Pac-12, the Mountain West would “be open” to adding remaining Pac-12 schools to the league, sources told Action Network.

The Mountain West currently has a linear television deal with FOX and CBS Sports Network with additional games on CBS through the 2025 season. Another possibility for the Mountain West, depending on how many schools are remaining in the Pac-12, could be a merger of some type between the two leagues, a source said.

Stay tuned as more college football realignment is expected in the near future as the Big Ten and possible others decide if they want to add additional teams.

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Comments (12)

I think Cal and Stanford will be next for the Big Ten and Oregon State and Washington State could join the Big 12 which would fulfill their goal of being a four-time zone league (they looked at Gonzaga in the past but they are not a good fit).

Mt West is the only hope for the Beavers and Wassu, ESPN & Fox will not agree to giving these two $31.7 million.

If ESPN doesn’t want to fully surrender the PTZ to Fox then they might have no choice. Gonzaga has not had a football program since WWII, which is why they left the Big Sky Conference in 1979.

Gonzaga lost it’s place when Arizona St and Utah came aboard. It was reported yesterday that ESPN and Fox would only agree to 16 at $31.7. If true, this is it. Big XII after dark will replace PAC 12 after dark in 2024. Arizona schools are PTZ for part of the season (September and October) since they don’t observe Daylight Savings Time.

Some interesting schedule models possible. My proposal is the following. For football and men’s and women’s basketball. 3-6 team pods. You play everyone in your pod and rotate 2 schools per year in the other pods. In 3 years you play everyone in the conference at least once (so if you play 3 years and go to the league you would play every school in your conference) in football. In basketball you play your pod 2x and 4 games against the other 2 pods. Games against other pods are back to back road games. For example Rutgers would play at UCLA and USC on one trip in like 3 or 4 days. Then UCLA and USC would go to Michigan and Michigan St. on one trip in like 3 or 4 days. 18 conference basketball games down from 20. This leaves 2 weeks for a conference tournament. This is the cool part. Top 2 teams in the regular season host a 9-team single elimination tournament the 1st weekend of March. Semi-Final losers play at 3rd place game. I’m very certain CBS and FOX would be willing to show these games. Then the 2nd weekend the 1st-4th place teams from the 9-team tournaments play a best of 3 1 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2, 3 vs. 3, 4 vs. 4 best of 3 series at a neutral site. Winner of the 1 vs 1 series gets the automatic bid. These are the 6-team pods I suggest.

Michigan St.
Ohio St.
Penn St.



For sports like Track, Cross-Country, Swimming and Diving, Gymnastics, Wresting as far as I know the conference has one meet/tournament and the winner gets to hang a banner no matter how the rest of the season went. So travel and pods etc isn’t really a big deal. The meet/tournament is a long weekend. I don’t know how sports like Soccer, Volleyball, Baseball, and Softball can work a system that works for not having kids miss every other week of school. Football travels the least half the games are at home and even if you go across the country and play at 10:30pm you leave Thu/
Fri and get home Sun morning not missing a great deal of class. If basketball could figure out a way for the games outside of the pods to take place when school is out then the travel wouldn’t be that bad.

These are just thoughts I came up with while walking the dog. Who knows maybe Stanford, Cal, Notre Dame, Virginia, and 2 MAC school join the Big-Ten by next week.

I like the clean sorting of the pods and the clever 5+4+4+4 scheduling model for football. Nice!

One suggestion on the basketball side is to have all 4 of the West coast schools each host 2 Eastern time zone schools for their Big Ten openers on the 2nd weekend of December, then schedule the West Coast schools to each take a 4 to 6 game road trip over Christmas break to get all the Eastern time zone road games knocked out before the 2nd semester of classes start in January.

Clever idea on the pods with the 5+4+4+4 football scheduling model. Nicely done!

One suggestion to deal with the West Coast basketball travel challenges would be to have each of the 4 Pacific time zone schools schedule a 6 game road trip over Christmas break to the East coast to knock out all the Eastern time zone roadies for the season in one trip. To ensure teams don’t get too unbalanced with away games, they could also each open their conference play on the 2nd week of December by hosting 2 East coast schools.

I was thinking the same thing Dave!
My other scheduling proposal is the following:
-Each school has 3 annual opponents, they’ll play the other 14 schools 3 times over a 7 year stretch (9 conference games per year still), which is a little more frequent that once every 3 years
“Western” pod: Washington, Oregon, UCLA, USC
“Prairie” pod: Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin
“Central” pod: NW, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana
“Great Lakes” pod: Michigan St, Michigan, Ohio St
“Eastern” pod: Penn St, Maryland, Rutgers
Each “Great Lakes” school would play a different “Eastern” school to make sure each team has 3 annual opponents.

The reason why I like this one slightly more than yours (which was also my initial thought) is because it keeps the Iowa/Minnesota/Wisconsin rivalries each year.

Teams can still play a 9-game conference schedule AND assure that each team plays each opponent every two years and visits every stadium in a players’ 4-year career.
This would allow everyone to have only one protected rivalry game. The biggest casualty would be the Michigan and Sparty wouldn’t play every year. Minnesota/Iowa is a distant 2nd for most tragic loss.
Growing the league to 20 teams or protecting a 2nd rivalry for some requires either: seeing some teams every 3 years or a 10-game conference schedule.

Which means B10 teams won’t play each other at least 2 times in 4 years as the B10 won’t be willing to sacrifice UMich-MSU (for that matter, that Upper Midwestern iron triangle of UMTC, UW-Madison, and Iowa also don’t want to drop any games against each other).

B10 schools were already playing some teams (in the other division) once every 3 years when the B10 split in to divisions so it’s not like having to play every other B10 team 2 times in 4 years is some sacred requirement.

I still think that the name Pac 12 will go on. Sure the list of teams will look more like the 2023 Mountain West and maybe they do not currently have the offer of a TV contract, but PAC 12 sounds better than Mountain West. Conference USA only kept a few schools but are still called Conference USA.