USC and UCLA are reportedly planning to leave the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten, as first reported by Jon Winer of Pac-12 Hotline on Thursday (June 30).
A source later confirmed Winer’s report to Sports Illustrated‘s Ross Dellenger, who tweeted that “teams are now jockeying to get into top two leagues of FBS – the SEC and B1G,” following the the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma accepting their respective invitations to join the SEC in 2025 last year.
Dellenger added that other conferences with high revenue, past athletic success and big markets “should be worried those teams will leave for the new Power 2” of the SEC and Big Ten.
“There has been a sense for more than a year now that the SEC and Big Ten would each grow in size, evolving into two giants of the sport where 30-35 teams operate in a semi-professional model of college football,” Dellenger tweeted. “Most thought it was still several years away. Maybe it’s not so far.”
The Athletic‘s Nicole Auerbach reports that an alliance between the non-SEC conferences was formed after the upcoming additions of Texas and Oklahoma last summer, with the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 agreeing “to work together on various issues, to stabilize” college football and “not poach each other’s members” and will eventually lead “to two megaconferences.”
Texas and Oklahoma officially accepted their invitations to join the SEC in 2025 last July.
ESPN reported that the board of regents for both Big 12 Conference founding schools voted unanimously to formally accept an invitation to join the conference.
“This is the right decision at the right time for the future of our UT athletics programs,” Texas president Jay Hartzell said in a statement obtained by ESPN.
The next step for both schools is to determine when the move can become a reality and the fate of the remaining eight schools in the Big 12 Conference.
On July 30, ESPN reported the 14 SEC presidents and chancellors all approved the founding Big 12 Conference schools’ request, leaving OU and Texas to officially accept the conference’s offer as the final piece to complete future realignment.