USC, UCLA will officially join the Big Ten Conference in 2024

By Kevin Kelley -

The USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins will officially join the Big Ten Conference in 2024, both schools announced Thursday evening.

A report of USC and UCLA’s move to the Big Ten was first revealed earlier on Thursday by Jon Wilner of The Mercury-News.

“Over the past three years, we have worked hard to ground our university decisions in what is best for our students,” said USC President Carol L. Folt. “With the Big Ten, we are joining a storied conference that shares our commitment to academic excellence and athletic competitiveness, and we are positioning USC and our student-athletes for long-term success and stability amidst the rapidly evolving sports media and collegiate athletics landscapes. We are delighted to begin this new chapter in 2024.”

The Big Ten has voted to accept both USC and UCLA into the conference effective August 2, 2024.

“Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we move into the new world of collegiate sports,” USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn said. “We are excited that our values align with the league’s member institutions. We also will benefit from the stability and strength of the conference; the athletic caliber of Big Ten institutions; the increased visibility, exposure, and resources the conference will bring our student-athletes and programs; and the ability to expand engagement with our passionate alumni nationwide.”

With the addition of USC and their crosstown rival UCLA, the Big Ten will expand to 16 teams and will have a new footprint that extends from coast to coast.

“For the past century, decisions about UCLA Athletics have always been guided by what is best for our student-athletes, first and foremost, and our fans,” UCLA Chancellor and Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond said. “Our storied athletics program, based in one of the biggest media markets in the nation, has always had unique opportunities and faced unique challenges. In recent years, however, seismic changes in collegiate athletics have made us evaluate how best to support our student-athletes as we move forward. After careful consideration and thoughtful deliberation, UCLA has decided to leave the Pac-12 Conference and join the Big Ten Conference at the start of the 2024–25 season.”

USC and UCLA will play in the Pac-12 Conference in the 2022 and 2023 seasons before both schools begin play in the Big Ten in 2024.

This is the biggest conference realignment news since Oklahoma and Texas were accepted into the SEC. It won’t be the last, however. Several reports indicate that the Big Ten is not done with just adding USC and UCLA and will target other Pac-12 schools such as Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah.

There’s also the Notre Dame Fighting Irish who, as the most prominent Independent, may have to finally join a conference.

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Comments (30)

Let make college football great again.
Clemson to the PAC 12
Oregon to the Big Sky
NMSU to the SEC
Hawaii to the ACC
Notre Dame to the MAC
Alabama drops football
2 team playoff
Ohio St and Michigan become best friends
The WAC becomes a Power 5 Conference
Scrap the Rose Bowl
Georgia moves to Alaska
Houston Baptist beats Georgia
The Ivy League folds
Syracuse joins the MWC
Kansas makes it to a bowl game

Steve K.,
You’ve posted the Best Satirical College Football cinematic alternate Universe Op-Ed I’ve read in the Comments Section @ fbschedules.com.

If there was a fake college sports news Site, your post would be in the “Subscriber submitted Headlines”.
Credits to thebabylonbee.com “Fake News You Can Trust” for the “Subscriber submitted Headlines” Reference.

“ Several reports indicate that the Big Ten is not done with just adding USC and UCLA and will target other Pac-12 schools such as Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah.”

Huh? Several reports indicate that the *Big 12* will go after those 4. I’ve yet to see one suggesting those would be Big 10 targets…? Only 2 of those are AAU members anyway.

The Big 10 may not be done, but most of the speculation there seems revolve around… Washington and Oregon, or Stanford and Cal… Notre Dame… or trying to crack the ACC grant of rights. Colorado or Kansas could be options too, but if they’re going as bold as USC and UCLA, more west coast schools, UNC and company, or Notre Dame seem like the level of target they’d be looking at.

Yea I haven’t seen any of those team mentioned to the BIG either.

I would see Washington, Stanford, Oregon, Kansas to BIG.

Like you said if they can crack the ACC maybe Washington, Oregon, Virginia, and UNC. All of those are AAU schools, solid football & basketball programs, new states/markets.

No team is going to leave the ACC. Their Grant of rights ends in 2036. They do not care about the possible money they will receive if they leave. The ACC is a prestigious Conference. No one is going anywhere.

USC & UCLA joining the Big Ten is like FIFA holding the World Cup in Qatar – it doesn’t make any sense, except someone’s getting a lot of dollars & cents.

So the UCLA and USC powers to be basically said “whats best for our student-athketes”. Laughable. Yes its best to send them cross country trips for every away game. Time away from school. Well nevermind, most probably never attend a class. Why didn’t they just come out and say it. Whatever and wherever we can get the most money. GREED RULES!!!

Agreed, Steve. “what’s best for our student athletes.” Laughable. Yes it’s best to send them cross country trips for every away game. Time away from school. Well nevermind, most probably never attend a class. Why didn’t they just come out and say it. Whatever and wherever we can get the most money.”

The Trust Five Schools in these Conferences are a dangerous Force because Noone except Their Backroom Selves Rules the Trust 5.
The NCAA loses more and more control as they receive the kickbacks from the 5 Conferences Lobbyists & write NCAA Legislation to fit what CFP, Administration LLC, Executive Director Bill Hancock (& his predecessor Organization BCS, LLC did as well) & his select committees want.

Each Year I watch the small Bowls with the best non Trust Five Schools in them. I watched UCinncinati play the Alabama Crimson Biden in 2021.
I’m looking forward to the Barstool Sports Bowl in 2022.

In 2021, for the 1st Time, I followed, watched selected fChampionships 24 Team Playoff Games. I estimate that 4/5ths of them were better than an average Trust Five NY6 Game.

The Big Ten needs to go really B1G with this — don’t stop with USC and UCLA — become the first coast-to-coast 24-team SUPER Conference. In addition to adding West Coast presence, solidify the middle of the footprint, and rectify the mistake of not adding Missouri a decade-plus ago. Sell them on leaving the SEC with the allure of reuniting with Nebraska, now joined by old rivals Kansas and Colorado, and finally becoming league rivals with Illinois and Iowa. Also make it clear to Notre Dame that a spot is being held for them.
·
B1G WESTERN POD
• Stanford / Cal
• USC / UCLA
• Arizona / Utah
·
B1G PLAINS POD
• Colorado / Kansas
• Nebraska / Missouri
• Iowa / Minnesota
·
B1G CENTRAL POD
• Wisconsin / Northwestern
• Illinois / Indiana
• Notre Dame / Purdue
·
B1G EASTERN POD
• Michigan / Michigan State
• Ohio State / Penn State
• Rutgers / Maryland
·
In the event of a refusal to join by Notre Dame, Minnesota slides to the Central Pod and Utah slides to the Plains Pod, with Oregon moving into the Western Pod. Of course Notre Dame will have a counter-offer to weigh, as the SEC makes its own move to 24 by gobbling up 7 ACC teams in its territory, and leaving one spot open for them.
·
SEC SOUTHWESTERN POD
• Oklahoma / Oklahoma State (replacing Missouri)
• Texas / Texas A&M
• Arkansas / LSU
·
SEC DEEP-SOUTH POD
• Mississippi / Mississippi State
• Alabama / Auburn
• Florida / Florida State
·
SEC SOUTHEASTERN POD
• Georgia / Georgia Tech
• South Carolina / Clemson
• North Carolina / Duke
·
SEC MID-SOUTH POD
• Virginia / Virginia Tech
• Tennessee / Vanderbilt
• Kentucky / Notre Dame
·
In the event of a refusal to join by Notre Dame, due to joining the B1G or somehow remaining independent, settle for Louisville and lock up all of the major brands in the Southeast except Miami (who the SEC has never really cared about) and to some extent North Carolina State. That leaves the PAC to rebuild by raiding the MWC into oblivion.
·
PAC-16 AFTER CHANGES
• Washington / Washington State
• Oregon (unless ND doesn’t join B1G) / Oregon State
• San Jose State / Sacramento State (up from FCS)
• Fresno State / San Diego State
• Nevada / UNLV
• Arizona State / Utah State
• Boise State / Wyoming
• Colorado State / New Mexico
·
If Oregon gets into the B1G, slide New Mexico State into the 16th spot, thus restricting FBS in the West to the B1G and the PAC-16. Air Force would move to the AAC, while Hawaii technically becomes independent in football but signs an 8-game scheduling and bowl agreement with the PAC-16, thus saving travel expenses for the mainland schools in all of the other sports. The ACC and BIG 12 would backfill to reach 16 members by adding schools from the AAC, SBC, and CUSA (which would go out of business along with the MWC).

Nah, the B10 should build the only academic rival to the Ivy League as well as the only football rival to the SEC:
Add Stanford and Cal now.
Obviously ND if they are willing to join.
Then Duke, UNC, UVa (maybe GTech) when the ACC disintegrates.
UW-Seattle if needed to round off the numbers.

It’s a chess board. SEC moved first taking UT and OU. B1G makes the LA Gambit.
.
SEC’s turn. The PAC is available. Geography matters. Phoenix and Tucson are now major markets. ASU and Arizona to the SEC — the western equivalent of Auburn and Alabama.
.
Back to you B1G…
Oregon and Washington, the OSU-UM rivalry of the Pacific coast.
.
SEC. Pass. B1G. Pass.

i dont understand adding pac 12 teams , traveling cross country not to mention the time zone now u will have lets say penn st playing a prime time game at usc at 11pm east coast time its all about money

I noticed that Bobby G. didn’t use a word (that is now copyrighted by OSU). Well played, Bobby…well played.

I strongly believe that there will be no more independent teams by 2039, maybe sooner. With all these power moves, the two big schools that are being watched are first obviously Notre Dame, but also Army. I feel that Army is going to feel compelled to join a conference, unless the military schools decide to all become independent. Joining a conference could have an impact on the Army-Navy game, one of the oldest traditions of college football. Whether it be when it’s played and it’s significance, the ways of traditional college football are fading away faster than we think

I know the Pac-12 will probably replace the LA schools, but I still want Boise State in the Big 12. As it stands, the Big 12 will have just one western school for the moment, and Boise State would give BYU a much-needed travel partner.

Colorado State would be a better fit for the Pac-12 given the size of its market, and if the Pac-12 wanted to stay in SoCal, San Diego State would be advisable.

Boise and BYU are about 380 miles apart. USU would be a better travel partner for BYU.

Boise State is a bigger brand name.

And they already have something of a rivalry with BYU that arguably has become more big than the BYU-USU rivalry despite being played far fewer times.

The PAC 12 will go this route

Oregon and Washington: B1G
Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State: Big 12
Oregon State, Washington State, Stanford, Cal: MWC

That’s gonna be it. Not everybody gets a P5 landing spot. The B1G will be at 18 and they will get two more, but I think they wait until Notre Dame’s hand is forced.

The Big 12 would be solid with 16 teams–

The Mountain West, with 16, would also be a solid conference. None of the big conferences will ever take Boise State with that blue turf and it is not an academic juggernaut (if that even matters anymore)

And with Los Angeles being a a sun belt market the Big Ten will be pressured by its newest members to allow night games to be played in the last two weeks of November.

This is all part of a two-phase grand move, probably generated by ESPN but nobody will actually say so. The rest of phase 1 which may take until 2038 to complete

Big-10

Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Maryland
Michigan
Michigan St.
Minnesota
Nebraska
Northwestern
Notre Dame
Ohio St.
Oregon
Penn St.
Purdue
Rutgers
Stanford
UCLA
USC
Washington
Wisconsin

SEC

Alabama
Auburn
Arkansas
Clemson
Florida
Florida St.
Georgia
Kentucky
LSU
Miami (FL)
Mississippi
Mississippi St.
Missouri
North Carolina
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Texas A&M
Vanderbilt

Then the rest of the ACC, Big-12, Pac-12 will try to form something that sticks. Group of 5 will probably become group of 3-4 with probably no independent teams.

Then by 2045 the true big boys create their own NCAA free super league. Some members of the 20-team SEC and Big-Ten probably get purged for whomever is the best brands of the rest of college football. I could also see a 64-team basketball and perhaps olympic sport super league. They would look like this.

40-team football super league

Alabama
Auburn
Arizona
Arizona St.
Arkansas
Baylor
Clemson
Florida
Florida St.
Georgia
Iowa
Kentucky
LSU
Miami (FL)
Michigan
Michigan St.
Mississippi
Mississippi St.
Nebraska
North Carolina
North Carolina St.
Notre Dame
Ohio St.
Oklahoma
Oklahoma St.
Oregon
Penn St.
Pittsburgh
Stanford
Tennessee
Texas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
UCLA
USC
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin

Schools Added For Basketball

Duke
Wake Forest
Syracuse
Kansas
Indiana
Purdue
UConn
Georgetown
St. John’s
Villanova
Gonzaga
Georgia Tech
Louisville
Maryland
Minnesota
Missouri
Utah
Cincinnati
Xavier
Temple
Marquette
Loyola
Creighton
St. Mary’s

Okay debate this all you want but I suspect we would all probably keep 75% of these teams.

I don’t think we ever see a day where Miami is in the SEC.

The SEC will add teams, but Miami is way down the list. They bring nothing to the table.

If I had to guess, and that’s all any of this is… wild speculation, the schools the SEC would consider are:

Notre Dame (Not sure the SEC WANTS them, but they’d take them if they wanted in)
Clemson
North Carolina
Duke
North Carolina State
Virginia Tech
Arizona (maybe?)
Arizona State (maybe?)

And MAYBE Florida State or Colorado

Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, any of the smaller Texas schools, Louisville, Georgia Tech, West Virginia… none of those teams add anything to the SEC. So, I can’t imagine they would get in.

Just because those are big(ger) schools with some level of success inside (or near) the SEC footprint for the most part, doesn’t mean the SEC will want or take them.

Some of those schools may be attractive to the Big Ten because while the Big Ten is doing well, there has to be some concern moving forward over the shifting population of the country. Sure, right now they are in a bunch of huge markets, but over the last decade or two many of those markets are losing people while markets in the south are growing. I can’t imagine there isn’t someone in the Big Ten looking at the impact that will cause in thirty years.

Also, few of those markets are college football towns and most have NFL teams with very large, very loyal fanbases. I said some place earlier that the math still works in the Big Ten’s favor, because if you get a fraction of Los Angeles to pay attention, you are probably getting more attention for your product than if you get ALL of Knoxville. However, it’s probably a lot easier to sell the Vols in Knoxville than to sell Northwestern in Chicago.

I don’t know… this is all fun to consider and there are so many moving pieces… Money is big, television markets are big, cable providers are big… One thing is certain, college football today doesn’t look anything like it did 30 years ago and it’s going to be very different 30 years from now.

The Pac 12 is a dead conference walking.

The Pac 12 will never add Boise State for football and basketball. Boise would be very competitive in football, but the Pac 12 would see Boise as decreasing their value. Boise would unfortunately be left out of Power Five conference expansion again.

The Big XII and SEC can no longer sit still when it comes to expanding westward. I am more sold on the Big XII’s position to expand as geographically they are closer to the remaining Pac 12 teams and the new Big XII commissioner may end up being more aggressive in expansion than the B1G and SEC might expect. If the SEC doesn’t grab at least two Pac 12 teams, they might become the third-ranked Power Five conference in relevance and the SEC and its fanbase sure doesn’t want that.

Quite the contrary, it is the Big 12 we are waiting to hit the ground. The PAC-12 will add 6 of the 8 old Big 12 remnants to their ranks and go to 16 members, formally ending the Big 12’s participation within the power conferences. The ACC will most likely add West Virginia (along with say UConn) to get to 16 members and there will be be four 16-school conferences.

I believe the most likely teams to be targeted by the SEC and Big 10 are:

SEC – Has been adding teams from Oklahoma and Texas on the western border through South Carolina on the eastern border. The most likely teams for the SEC to target are: Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami (FL).

Big Ten – Has been adding teams from large television markets. Their last acquisitions were Maryland (Washington DC), Rutgers (New York City) and USC/UCLA (Los Angeles). I believe the Big 10 may try to acquire Boston College (Boston), Colorado (Denver), Houston (Houston) and Southern Methodist (Dallas).

The ‘next’ step in conference expansion for the SEC would likely be to add the states of Virginia and North Carolina (the SEC Network is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina yet there is no SEC members in North Carolina). The SEC already has the flagship programs of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida and thus the four schools you suggest would be redundancies.

As far as the Big Ten, they are very particular about AAU membership and the academic credentialism of their schools. That would forgo institutions like Boston College (which is also Catholic), Houston and SMU (which is also Methodist). If they were to add Colorado, they would most likely add Arizona and Utah, as well, to reestablish their ‘precious’ contiguous floor plan.