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Big Ten authorizes commissioner to explore adding Oregon, Washington: report

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EUGENE, OR – SEPTEMBER 17: Fans of the Oregon Ducks cheer during the second half against the Brigham Young Cougars at Autzen Stadium on September 17, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

With the future of the Pac-12 uncertain, there are new reports out that the Big Ten could look into adding two more west coast teams to the conference in coming years.

After reports emerged yesterday that the conference would consider adding Oregon and Washington, as well as Cal and Stanford to the mix, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported Thursday that schools have authorized commissioner Tony Pettiti to look into the matter:

Specifically, Thamel reported that the conference’s presidents have authorized Pettiti to explore expansion and to gather information on adding Oregon and Washington to the soon-to-be 16-team conference.

According to multiple reports, neither school would receive a full share of the conference’s new TV deal, and it is unlikely that television networks like Fox, NBC and CBS would cough up any additional money to sweeten the pot for the Huskies or Ducks to join the conference.

Even with those stumbling blocks, Washington and Oregon could still consider joining the Big Ten anyway. Colorado has already jumped ship from the Pac-12, and will join the Big XII next season.

Three other schools, including Arizona, Arizona State and Utah, could also be preparing to join the Big XII due to concerns over an uncertain television future for the Pac-12.

That deal involves putting most of the conference’s marquee matchups on Apple TV, which has generated some skepticism within the conference, according to officials.

Arizona and Arizona State’s leadership are planning meetings on Thursday to discuss the matter, and there could be momentum building for them to jump ship and leave the Pac-12 in coming years.

Should that occur, Oregon and Washington could push to leave the conference as well, and the Big Ten has been linked to both schools by multiple reports in recent days.

Cal and Stanford could also be part of those conversations, leaving Oregon State and Washington State to fend for themselves.

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