Big Ten Country

The Big 20? Big Ten could explore adding Oregon, Washington, reports say

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With uncertainty continuing over the future of the Pac-12 conference, multiple reports are swirling that the Big Ten could consider adding as many as four additional West Coast schools to their conference in the coming years.

According to reports from Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel and NBC Sports’ Nicole Auerbach, the conference is in “very early stages” of adding up to four additional teams, with Oregon and Washington the top names on that list.

While the conference could stop with those schools, there have also been talks of adding Cal and Stanford, according to the reports.

A potential stumbling block to any addition of more schools to the Big Ten could be the share of TV revenues that the universities would get. According to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, the four schools likely wouldn’t get full revenue shares right away, similar to the way the conference handled the addition of Rutgers and Maryland in 2014:

This news comes as the Pac-12 tries to fend off overtures from other conferences. Colorado has already made the decision to leave for the Big XII beginning next season, and both USC and UCLA are joining the Big Ten for the 2024 football season.

A trio of schools in the southwestern U.S., including Utah, Arizona and Arizona State, could also leave for the Pac-12, according to multiple reports.

Ongoing uncertainty over a television contract remains the driving force behind all of these talks. Commissioner George Kliavkoff finally laid out some details for member schools earlier this week, with Apple TV serving as the main outlet for the conference’s games under the terms of that deal.

Using a streaming platform could be a hard sell in a college landscape dominated by ESPN, Fox, CBS and NBC, and Pac-12 schools, while not rejecting the proposal, have voiced some skepticism about the future of the conference.

Those discussions are expected to continue in coming weeks, with the 2023 season less than a month away.

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