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College Football Conference Realignment Rumors and Big Ten Expansion News

USC Football: Trojans 2021 Schedule Analysis

College football realignment and conference expansion are back in the news, as UCLA and USC have officially joined the Big Ten. The Trojans and Bruins are expected to join in time for the 2024 season.

With the Trojans and Bruins joining the Big Ten, it would be a seismic shift in college football. USC and UCLA would give the Big Ten 16 teams to rival the SEC, while significantly hurting the Pac-12 with the loss of two major brands. Moving to the Big Ten would be significant in terms of revenue and power for USC and UCLA.

News about the Pac-12, Big Ten, USC and UCLA and potential realignment among other conferences is moving fast. 

Athlon Sports is monitoring the latest news regarding college football expansion and conference realignment. This post will be updated with the latest news throughout the offseason.

The latest updates involving the Big Ten, Pac-12, USC, UCLA, college football realignment and expansion:

College Football Conference Realignment Rumors and Big Ten Expansion News

Wednesday, July 27

*Is the Big Ten considering more expansion? According to Dennis Dodd from CBS Sports, the Big Ten is evaluating the "worthiness" of adding Oregon, Washington, Stanford and California to the conference. 

The complete report on potential expansion to 20 teams from CBS Sports

Wednesday, July 20

*Braden Gall of the Athlon Sports' Cover 2 Podcast spoke with Action Network's Brett McMurphy to get the latest update on all things realignment and expansion in college football:

Tuesday, July 19

*ESPN and CBS Sports report the Pac-12 and Big 12 won't partner or merge after discussions between the two conferences. The Big 12 approached the Pac-12 about potential avenues to work together but ended conversations on Monday. 

What's next for the Pac-12 and Big 12? 

*At SEC Media Days, commissioner Greg Sankey commented on the recent moves in realignment and expansion in college football. As expected, Sankey indicated the SEC has no urgency to respond to the move of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten.

"We're poised to grow to 16 members on July 1st, 2025," Sankey said. This expansion keeps the SEC in contiguous states which supports reasonable geography among like-minded universities and keeps us confident that fan interest will continue to grow in our communities, in our region, in this country and literally across the globe."

"There's no sense of urgency in our league, no panic and reaction to others' decisions. We know who we are. We are confident in our collective strength, and we are uniquely positioned to continue to provide remarkable experiences, educationally and athletically, along with world-class support to student-athletes."

"The great news for the Southeastern Conference is that people call and say, Hey, you're doing something really special. They kind of hint around the edges."

"We know who we are. We're confident in our success. We're really looking forward to the expansion and being at 16 teams. Don't feel pressured to just operate at a number. But we'll watch what happens around us and be thoughtful but be nimble."

Monday, July 11

*Matt Hayes of 1010XL and Saturday Down South reports the SEC prefers to stay at 16 teams and not pursue expansion beyond the additions of Oklahoma and Texas - for now. The report goes into potential reasons the conference could reconsider, as well as why the SEC prefers to stay at 16. Read more here

Wednesday, July 6

*Could the Pac-12 and ACC work together on a broadcast partnership? According to Sports Illustrated, the two conferences are discussing options, including the potential for the ACC Network to broadcast Pac-12 games:

*What's the latest in college football realignment and expansion? Athlon Sports' Cover 2 Podcast dives deep into the Pac-12, Big Ten, ACC and Notre Dame. Also, why North Carolina and Virginia are important states to watch in expansion:

*How realistic is Oregon and Washington to the Big Ten? Jon Wilner of the Pac-12 Hotline spoke to a source that seems to indicate the Ducks and Huskies won't be joining USC and UCLA in the conference:

Tuesday, July 5

*Could the Pac-12 and ACC form some sort of partnership to counter the 16-team SEC and Big Ten? According to CBS Sports, the two conferences have discussed a "loose partnership" that would potentially include some regular season games, as well as a championship matchup in Las Vegas.

*Although reports have circulated about potential interest from six Pac-12 teams about joining the Big 12, both Colorado and Arizona State have released statements indicating current (for now?) support for the Pac-12. Just as a friendly reminder, take every report in conference realignment and expansion with a grain of salt. Programs are committed publicly, but every statement and comment is used as potential leverage.

Colorado:

Arizona State:

*According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, the Big 12 is in "deep discussions" with multiple Pac-12 teams about joining the league. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah have been mentioned previously here as candidates, and the Big 12 is also considering Washington and Oregon.

*The Pac-12 released a statement on Tuesday morning indicating its board of directors has authorized the conference to begin negotiating its next media rights deal. With uncertainty swirling about the conference, this step is necessary for the conference to attempt to keep teams in the fold. 

   

Sunday, July 3

*Is the Pac-12 looking at more defections from its conference? According to WildcatAuthority.com, the Big 12 will meet this week to discuss the potential addition of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah into the conference:

Friday, July 1

*The Pac-12 released a statement on Friday indicating the conference will explore expansion to replace USC and UCLA:

*Which teams could replace USC and UCLA in the Pac-12? A look at the potential candidates for expansion.

*According to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, the Big Ten is waiting on Notre Dame to make a decision in regards to joining the conference before considering additional expansion. 

Thursday, June 30

*It's official: UCLA and USC announced their intention to join the Big Ten in time for the 2024 season:

* Jon Wilner of the Pac-12 Hotline is reporting USC and UCLA are planning to leave for the Big Ten as early as the 2024 season.

* Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated reports the deal for USC and UCLA to join the Big Ten could be done in a matter of days.

* ESPN's Pete Thamel also reports the deal for USC and UCLA to join the Big Ten is nearing completion: