BREAKING: Pac-12 rivals USC and UCLA ‘are planning to defect to the Big Ten in 2024’ in a major NCAA shakeup
Two collegiate sports powerhouses are preparing to defect from the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten, in the latest shakeup of the NCAA’s competitive landscape.
As multiple outlets reported Thursday, Los Angeles-area rivals USC and UCLA are in talks to join Big Ten after decades in the Pac-12 (née: Big Five, Big Six, Pacific-8, and Pacific-10). Not only would the move deprive the 107-year-old conference of two of its most prestigious athletic departments, but it would also cost the Pac-12 its foothold in the lucrative Southern California media market.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren has yet to address the issue publicly as talks are reportedly ongoing.
SC wide receiver That Washington, right, UCLA defensive back Cameron Johnson deflect a pass in the first quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on November 21. As multiple outlets reported Thursday, Los Angeles-area rivals USC and UCLA are in talks to join Big Ten after decades in the Pac-12 for the 2024 season, although the deal isn’t yet finalized
The move has not been finalized, according to syndicated sports reporter Jon Wilner, who also reports that the move could happen as early as 2024.
Although UCLA is primarily known as a basketball powerhouse, with 11 men’s NCAA titles, any move to the Big Ten would likely be due to football, which is the most profitable in the college sports hierarchy.
The Big Ten’s reported overtures to UCLA and USC come after the Southeastern Conference successfully lured Oklahoma and Texas away from the Big-12 for the 2025 season.
By adding 11-time national football champion USC to a conference that already boasts Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State, the Big Ten would hope to compete with an SEC that is widely regarded as the toughest, most popular conference in college football.
Including the 2021 national champion Georgia Bulldogs, five of the last seven title winners have come from the SEC. Meanwhile, the Big Ten has won just one national championship in the last two decades: Ohio State’s 2014 title.
USC has been in the Pac-12 since 1922, while UCLA joined in 1928.