Forget about coaching for USC. James Franklin is just a couple of years away from coaching against USC as a conference opponent. USC and UCLA have officially been accepted into the Big Ten beginning with the 2024-25 academic year in what is widely viewed as a mammoth coup of the Pac-12.
The addition of USC and UCLA will bring the Big Ten’s full-time membership up to 16 schools in 2024, and the move has generated a ton of reaction from across the Big Ten, the Pac-12, and just about everywhere around the college athletics landscape.
“This is another big step in the ever-changing college football landscape and we embrace the change,” Franklin said in a released statement from Penn State on Thursday evening. “USC and UCLA are two institutions with a long-standing tradition of academic and athletic success. They will only strengthen our already very strong Big Ten Conference.”
Franklin’s sentiment was not alone. Other Penn State coaches offered similar statements reacting to the news of the Big Ten’s next major expansion strategy.
“The Big Ten has long been home to universities that compete at the highest level in both athletics and academics,” Penn State men’s basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry said in another released statement. “UCLA and USC are not only two institutions whose values align with Big Ten, but whose basketball traditions will be great additions to bolster the Big Ten as the nation’s premiere basketball conference.”
The landscape of the Big Ten is about to change in a major way for both football and basketball, and how Franklin and Shrewsberry capitalize on it will be fascinating to watch.
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