Big Ten Opens Doors for Membership to Oregon and Washington, Threatens Pac-12’s Survival, Inform AP Sources

by Ethan Kim
Big Ten Expansion

According to four individuals closely involved with the talks, the Big Ten has paved the way for Oregon and Washington to apply and join their league, pushing the already troubled Pac-12 to the precipice, reports The Big Big News. The informants requested anonymity as the Big Ten and the Northwestern schools were in the final stages of drafting an official agreement.

The teams from the Pac-12, the Ducks and Huskies, are yet to officially apply for membership, and any such move must receive formal approval from the Big Ten presidents, who convened on Friday to discuss expansion possibilities. These informants also anticipate unanimous approval of the applications.

On approval, Oregon and Washington will become the 17th and 18th members of the Big Ten, making it the largest conference in major college sports, stretching across 15 states from New Jersey to Washington. They will be the third and fourth representatives from the West Coast, alongside USC and UCLA.

This move compounds the difficulties of the Pac-12, which has been struggling for over a year.

The latest exit has left the iconic West Coast college sports conference on the verge of disintegration.

Leaders of the Pac-12 convened on Friday morning to deliberate on whether the remaining nine schools, including Oregon and Washington at the time, would accept a prospective media rights deal with Apple, presented by Commissioner George Kliavkoff earlier in the week, according to an insider.

During the Pac-12 football media day last month, Kliavkoff had affirmed their commitment to the Pac-12 and voiced his optimism about the realignment in college athletics coming to an end. However, the two most influential remaining brands decided to explore new horizons.

The impending exit of Oregon and Washington threatens the Pac-12 with a downsizing to just four members: Stanford, California, Oregon State, and Washington State.

Arizona is seriously considering a move to the Big 12, following Colorado, which declared its departure from the Pac-12 the previous week. It’s uncertain whether in-state rival Arizona State will follow suit. To address this, the Arizona Board of Regents held a meeting on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, the Big 12 is also eyeing Utah, which may soon have no option but to join. The Big 12 aims to swell its ranks to 16 teams next season, spanning all four time zones and 10 states.

Outsmarting the Pac-12, the Big 12 and Commissioner Brett Yormark sealed an extension for media rights deals with ESPN and Fox with two years remaining on its existing deal.

This development left Commissioner Kliavkoff and the Pac-12 with a sparse market and a deal that would result in their schools lagging behind their Power Five counterparts in terms of media rights revenue.

For more on college football: https://bigbignews.net/college-football

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BigTenForever August 4, 2023 - 7:49 pm

More power to us! Welcome Oregon and Washington!

RedzoneRicky August 4, 2023 - 9:38 pm

Whoa there. Big 12 also making moves, huh? Can’t ignore them in this whole shuffle.

SophieSportsAnalyst August 4, 2023 - 10:28 pm

Big questions on my mind: What’s gonna happen to the Pac-12? Also, media rights deals are no joke, gonna be a lot of money movin around.

CollegeFootballFanatic August 5, 2023 - 4:39 am

Wow! This is a seismic shift in college sports. Can’t wait to see how this plays out.

WestCoastBestCoast August 5, 2023 - 12:20 pm

Gotta say, as a Pac-12 fan, this is really depressing. it seems like we’re losin all our big brands 🙁

MikeRutgersFan August 5, 2023 - 1:20 pm

man this is crazy! i never thought id see the day Oregon and Washington leave the pac-12. big ten is gettin bigger haha.


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