USC, UCLA Formally Apply to Join Big Ten Conference in Most Recent Realignment Move

USC, UCLA Formally Apply to Join Big Ten Conference in Most Recent Realignment Move article feature image

Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images. Pictured: Ralen Goforth.

  • USC and UCLA have formally applied to join the Big Ten, sources told Action Network's Brett McMurphy.
  • The earliest the schools could begin play in the Big Ten is 2024, a source said.
  • Check out McMurphy's full report on USC and UCLA moving to the Big Ten — along with other conference realignment possibilities — below.

USC and UCLA, members of the Pac-12 for nearly 100 years, have formally applied for membership to the Big Ten Conference, sources told Action Network.

The conference is expected to officially add the schools by the end of the day Friday. The earliest they would begin play in the Big Ten is 2024, a source said.

“We’re headed to super conferences,” a source said.

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Both Pac-12 schools initially approached the Big Ten about joining, and negotiations became serious in the past few months, a source said.

USC and UCLA sought the move, in part, because they would double their media rights revenue in the Big Ten compared to the Pac-12.

The Big Ten is currently negotiating its new media rights deal, but the addition of the Los Angeles market would increase those “substantially,” a source said.

And the Big Ten may not stop at 16, a source said. Notre Dame has long been desired by the Big Ten, but the Irish are contractually obligated to the ACC until 2036.

Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News first reported USC and UCLA’s impending move to the Big Ten.

With USC and UCLA giving the Big Ten 16 members and Oklahoma and Texas giving the SEC 16 schools, one possibility is the Big 12 to also get to 16 schools, a source said.

The Big 12 could add Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado, along with new members BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF to get to 16 after OU and Texas leave for SEC.

“The Big 12 has never been aggressive (in conference realignment), but they should contact those four Pac-12 schools and tell them, 'Come on board because there’s nothing left in the Pac-12,'” a source said.

USC and UCLA had not officially applied for membership to the Big Ten as of 3 p.m. ET Thursday. Now that they have formally applied, both schools are expected to hold press conferences officially announcing their moves.

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