The Big Ten may soon stretch from coast-to-coast.
Sources confirm to the Free Press that the USC and UCLA are in talks with the Big Ten to join the league as soon as 2024.
This comes one year after Texas and Oklahoma announced they would be leaving the Big 12 for the SEC in 2025.
The acquisition would be one of the largest dominoes to fall in the changing college football landscape as the Power Five conferences — Big Ten, Big-12, SEC, ACC and Pac-12 — appear to be heading toward two super-conferences.
The Big Ten, which currently has 14 schools, last expanded in 2014 when it added Rutgers and Maryland. That was the second sign that the Big Ten, a conference based largely in the Midwest, was willing to expand its footprint, after adding Nebraska as the 12th team in 2011.
This addition would give the Big Ten 16 schools, on par with the SEC when Texas and Oklahoma become members.
USC and UCLA, both based in Los Angeles, have roots with the Pac-12 dating back to the 1920s and the Pacific Coast Conference. USC just celebrated its 100th year in the conference, having joined the PCC in 1922. UCLA has been a member since 1928.
USC has played in a record 34 Rose Bowl games — which have traditionally pitted a Pac-12 team against a Big Ten team — and won a record 25 of them.
The Trojans have also won 11 national championships, the most recent coming when they went back-to-back behind Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart in 2003 and 2004.
UCLA has won one national championship (1954) and has played in 12 Rose Bowl games, winning five of them, the last in 1986 against Iowa.
The Bruins are also possibly the most historic basketball program in the country. UCLA won 10 national championships from 1964-75 and added another in 1995. The Bruins still hold the NCAA record for most consecutive wins (88), a streak that spanned from 1971-74.
Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller alluded to the idea of possible conference realignment earlier this spring, at the MSU luncheon with the Detroit Economic Club in late May.
“There will be (conference realignment),” he said. “We’re working through that.”
Earlier this spring, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren told CBS Sports he expected a new media rights deal to come soon, with the current deal set to expire in 2023.
Sports Business Journal reported it could be a record-setting $1 billion per season, and that was before the announcement of the addition of USC and UCLA in the biggest TV market in the country.
Contact Tony Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @realtonygarcia.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: USC, UCLA in talks to join Big Ten Conference as soon as 2024