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The Big Ten reportedly has taken a look at several major programs for possible expansion.
USC and UCLA will join the B1G next summer, and there’s little doubt there’s more expansion on the horizon. It’s not a matter of if more teams movie. It’s a matter of when.
The belief for months has been Oregon and Washington could be the next two up. It makes sense. The PAC-12 is in a very fragile state and Oregon and Washington are major brands. If the B1G is looking to expand and add some more west coast teams, the Ducks and Huskies are the clear choices.
Well, it turns out the Big Ten might be looking at a lot more schools than just Oregon and Washington. It’s reportedly looked all over the country.
The conference has already vetted Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Georgia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Utah, and Miami, according to Jim Williams.
Will the Big Ten add more teams?
This is a very interesting list, and none of the teams are overly surprising, other than Georgia Tech, perhaps. It’s a great academic school, but is it a cultural fit from a sports standpoint? Doesn’t really feel like it.
Vetting Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Utah and Washington makes perfect sense. The PAC-12 could be on the brink of collapse. It’d be foolish for the B1G to not do its due diligence just in case collapse is imminent.
The conference could expand with relatively cheap deals. Utah, Cal and Stanford might take huge discounts in order to come to the B1G. Even a discounted B1G deal is better than whatever they’d get in a watered down PAC-12 or in the Big 12.
Could the B1G add ACC teams?
Where things get really interesting is Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Miami. All are great academic and cultural fits for the B1G, but ACC teams are locked up until 2036. There’s been some speculation conference members might try to break the media deal and find out just how much it will cost.
However, it’s very unclear whether or not that is even a realistic option. If it is, the B1G would likely love any of those teams, especially North Carolina or Virginia.
Both are flagship universities and great schools.
What is clear is the Big Ten isn’t sitting idle after adding USC and UCLA. It might not happen soon, but expansion will continue. There’s simply no way it doesn’t.