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News broke earlier Thursday that the USC and UCLA athletic programs could potentially be moving to the Big 10 conference in a dramatic realignment for college football.
Later reports suggested that the schools had officially applied for membership, with voting expected to conclude shortly afterwards.
Now the deal is officially done.
Both Pete Thamel and OutKick’s Dan Dakich confirmed that the application has been accepted and the news has been announced by both schools, meaning that the two Southern California powerhouse programs will officially join Big 10 conference play in 2024:
This remarkable turn of events likely comes down to network alliances, as OutKick explained earlier:
With Texas and Oklahoma joining the stacked and ESPN backed SEC, FOX can counter with a Big 10 that now includes USC and UCLA in the second largest media market in the country, to go along with historic programs like Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska.
Both west coast teams will see massive gains in revenue after the move and likely increased exposure in primetime matchups.
USC joining in particular is both a significant add for the Big 10 and throws into doubt the reports that Lincoln Riley jumping from the Sooners to the Trojans was in part due to fear of coaching in the SEC.
While Alabama is obviously not part of the Big 10, SC will undoubtedly play significantly harder conference schedules in the Big 10. Not to mention their long standing yearly matchup with Notre Dame and future schedule challenges such as a 2024 game against LSU.
The ramifications of this shift in the college sports landscape are hard to understate.
College football will soon have two super conferences in the Big 10 and the SEC, and the Pac-12 will now face immense challenges to maintain relevancy.
After all the speculation the Texas and Oklahoma news would lead to inevitable further realignment, it’s now official that USC and UCLA are the latest to move.