There are no more quiet periods. Massive college sports news happens even on the last day of June.
UCLA and USC are heading for the Big Ten Conference. The move is ticketed for 2024.
The perennial members of the now Pac-12 are excited and there is a pot of green at the end of the shift.
Look for the schools in the Big Ten — 16 and counting — to reel in around $85 million annually from broadcast deals. That is about $50 million more per year than the Bruins and Trojans would have made had they stayed in the Pac-12.
“Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we move into the new world of collegiate sports,” USC AD Mike Bohn said
OFFICIAL: USC will join the Big Ten Conference in 2024.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) June 30, 2022
Here’s UCLA’s release on Big Ten. pic.twitter.com/8IVImLf30X
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) June 30, 2022
There have been reports the Big Ten isn’t finished and Oregon and Washington are the next targets.
The news is devastating for the Pac-12, which loses a powerhouse program in USC as well as its crosstown rival, UCLA.
The actual real story of the Pac 12 decline is that football participation numbers on the West Coast are abysmal and you can’t get good assistants to live in LA, Berkeley and Seattle when you’re offering them the same $ or less than they can get in cheap Southern college towns
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) June 30, 2022
USC hired Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma this offseason. The former Sooner boss seemed headed for the Pac-12 as opposed to the SEC. Now, he will be part of an athletics program that is going to the Big Ten.
This changes the landscape of all of the sports the school plays, not just football and basketball. UCLA and USC traditionally have strong programs across the board, not just the big ones.
Sports Business Journal reported more money could be flowing to Big Ten schools:
Soon after the news about USC and UCLA joining the Big Ten broke, an Apple exec called the conference with a simple message: It wanted to reengage in media-rights talks, report SBJ’s John Ourand and Michael Smith. That call was emblematic of a chaotic day where media companies that had spent months finalizing how much they would pay for Big Ten rights were rushing back to the drawing board to see how the addition of two high-profile schools would change their bidding strategy.
Fox Sports already had reached a deal to carry at least half of the conference’s package, and CBS was viewed as a front-runner to take at least a package of Saturday football games in the 3:30pm ET window. That left Amazon, ESPN and NBC competing for a third package.
How this changes the college sports universe remains to be seen. However, no one will be surprised if these are simply another pair of dominoes falling toward the creation of super conferences.
Where and when that leaves other schools that don’t fit into the SEC or Big Ten will be fascinating. The ACC could be another target for conferences or it could look to bolster its ranks.
>includes vacated titles pic.twitter.com/SQZlzDRsGG
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 30, 2022