Oregon and Washington finalizing deal to join the Big Ten conference
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — College conference realignment keeps getting more wild as two more Pac-12 schools announced Friday that they are finalizing plans to join the Big Ten.
Oregon and Washington are tag teaming with USC and UCLA in leaving the Pac-12, and rumors have been heavily spreading about this for a while now. Back in late June 2022, USC and UCLA made it official that they were going to join the Big Ten in 2024.
Oregon and Washington are expected to apply for Big Ten membership at some point Friday according to sources. The Big Ten itself is set to make a unanimous vote Friday evening despite there being initial pushback from schools within the league on these extra additions.
Now, the finances of this big move are not immediately known. Nonetheless, both Oregon and Washington will receive only a partial share of the conference allotment through the length of its upcoming television deal. This deal will run through the 2029-30 school year.
To add onto the note of finances, none of the four Pac-12 schools joining the Big Ten needed to pay an exit fee. There’s good reason for that because of the Pac-12’s expiring television deal.
The move would lead way for the Big Ten being the largest conference in the country with a whopping 18 teams. Starting in 2024, this will include a western periphery of USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington. It would seem likely that these four schools would be placed in the Big Ten west division because it makes the most sense due to obvious geographical reasons.
It is worth mentioning that the future of the Pac-12 is now highly uncertain and may eventually collapse altogether. When the Pac-12 was founded in 1915, it was originally called the Pacific Coast Conference. The founding members of the Pac-12 are Cal, Washington, Oregon, and Oregon State.
Colorado is also leaving the Pac-12 and rejoining the Big 12. Arizona is also heavily rumored to make a move to the Big 12 as well.