Two of the biggest schools in the West Coast are leaving the PAC-12 for the Big Ten. USC and UCLA are looking to join the Big Ten as early as 2024. The two flagship programs of the PAC-12 made this surprise announce Thursday afternoon that took the college football world by storm.
The Mercury News were first to report the news of USC's and UCLA's planned departure.
The move is imminent as sources confirmed with ESPN as news broke. There is still the formal notification process as the two schools still must let the PAC-12 know about their intentions to leave. Also, USC and UCLA have to formally apply to the Big Ten, but that process has begun.
The two schools have a grant of rights with the current PAC-12 television contract. That contract expires after 2023 football season and the 2023-2024 school year in which the expectations is that both schools can transition to the Big Ten in 2024 and suffer any financial penalty.
A source told ESPN that the finances are playing a big role, but at the same time, competitiveness, brand and the overall landscape of the future of the sport also played a role, an even bigger role.
This move by the LA schools is a real gut punch to the PAC-12. Fox has added investment in the LA schools move to the Big Ten which means that the investments in the PAC-12 will decrease significantly. Now the conference will be left with Oregon and Washington as the top names of the conference.