Oregon, Big Ten Begin Preliminary Expansion Discussions in Chicago
Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kris Hutson.
Oregon has initiated preliminary discussions with the Big Ten in Chicago to determine if the Ducks are compatible in the conference, sources told Action Network.
Outgoing University of Oregon President Michael Shill, Oregon AD Rob Mullens and Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren were not involved in the discussions in Chicago, another source said.
Last week the Big Ten signed a seven-year media rights deal worth more than $7 billion, sources said.
The contract includes an escalator clause, which means the deal could approach nearly $10 billion if the Big Ten’s membership increases, network sources said. Even after adding USC and UCLA, the Big Ten “is not done” expanding, sources told Action Network last week.
Last month, Action Network reported the Big Ten would expand beyond 16 schools and was targeting Notre Dame, along with Oregon, Washington, Stanford and Cal from the Pac-12.
Those plans have not changed, sources said last week.
Regardless of whether Notre Dame joins the Big Ten or remains independent, the league still wants to add more Pac-12 schools to help reduce potential travel concerns for USC and UCLA, sources said.
If Oregon and others from the Pac-12 leave for the Big Ten, the Big 12 has targeted Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Arizona State as potential members, sources said.
While all this is ongoing, the Pac-12 is trying to acquire its new media rights deal, starting in 2024.
Warren, in an interview with HBO Real Sports that airs Tuesday, said he could foresee the Big Ten eventually expanding to 20 teams.