Big Ten Football inducts two new teams, USC and UCLA

USC and UCLA are leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten football Conference as early as 2024. Southern California will soon be Big Ten territory. On Thursday night, the conference presidents decided to accept the accession of both Pac-12 institutions. Shortly after, both institutions released official statements to confirm the development. The Big Ten football will have 16 member universities thanks to the arrival of USC and UCLA in 2024.

The conference realignment is happening less than a year after Oklahoma and Texas shook the college football world by announcing their choice to join the SEC.

USC and UCLA may join the Big Ten football before Texas and Oklahoma formally join the SEC because both institutions will join the SEC in the summer of 2025. The consequences of the most recent existential upheaval in collegiate sports may be even more surprising in the coming time.

Big Ten Football is Expanding the Scope from Coast to Coast

It would expand the scope of the Big Ten football conference if USC and UCLA joined. Rutgers and Maryland are the Big Ten’s only two members now located in east coast states. The new members would offer the conference two schools in a west coast state.

Big Ten Football is Expanding the Scope from Coast to Coast

Since adding Maryland and Rutgers before the 2014 sports season, this acquisition would be the Big Ten’s first growth. The other two additions to the Big Ten in the previous 70 years were Nebraska in 2011 and Penn State in 1990.

Official Statements by the Presidents

USC president Carol L. Folt said in a press release that –

“We will join a renowned league with the Big Ten that shares our dedication to academic excellence and athletic competition. We are positioning USC and our student-athletes for long-term growth and achievement amidst the continuously emerging sports media and interscholastic athletics landscapes.”

Gene D. Block, the chancellor of UCLA, stated to the Bruin community that joining the Big Ten will allow the university to maintain all 25 of its current athletic teams. It will give access to “increased resources” for going forward.

According to Block, “We are aware that these are significant transitions. We admire both the talent and commitment of our student-athletes and the enthusiasm of Bruins supporters worldwide. Given our particular circumstances, we feel this is the correct choice for the UCLA Bruins at the right moment.”

Distress at Pac-12

In reaction to the SEC’s acquisition of Texas and Oklahoma, which won’t occur until 2025, commissioners of the Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC formed an alliance between the three conferences last year. However, the cooperation disintegrated in the following year.

In 2011, when Utah and Colorado joined the conference, the Pac-12 increased from 10 to 12 teams. However, after this news conference would only have ten-member colleges in 2024.

This action caught the Pac-12 league and other institutions off guard. Schools like Oregon and Washington have a solid motivation to depart as self-preservation. So, the questions about safeguarding will echo for a long.

Schools like San Diego State and Boise State do little to make up for the loss of USC and UCLA if the Pac-12 is looking for alternative possibilities. The Pac-12 could effectively be dealt a death blow if this happens. It could still exist, but it is ludicrous to think that it could compete on the national stage without the Los Angeles schools.

What will now happen to Big Ten Football?

Including USC and UCLA in the Big Ten may seem out of place physically and logistically, but it expands the conference’s reach by including prestigious universities.

What will now happen to Big Ten Football?

When it comes to recruiting, perception is everything. And, having offensive juggernauts like USC coach Lincoln Riley and Ohio State coach Ryan Day in the same conference would increase the excitement. Their offensive skill and recruiting success will improve the perception of the conference. In fact, the Big Ten currently has four head coaches whose teams finished in the top 25 in terms of total offensive yards per game the previous season. And, if Riley can push USC into the College Football Playoff stage, it will only strengthen the conference.

While this doesn’t exactly transform the conference into an SEC-style juggernaut. But, it is unquestionably a step in the right direction to prevent the Big Ten from falling behind. Additionally, as more conferences grow and we get closer to superconferences, there may be room to add additional teams from the West if the opportunity occurs.

The advantages for the Big Ten outweigh any potential negatives. Even though there are still worries about scheduling and the inclusion of two teams that are three time zones away from the majority of the other institutions in the conference.

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