Big Ten Expansion : Over the past few decades, having a conversation about conference growth and realignment has gotten harder and harder. Few subjects have been as contentious in recent years as conference realignment in the realm of the NCAA as a result of the rise in television ratings (and the ensuing increase in income as a result of said ratings). Realignment in and of itself is not a negative thing, but when revenue growth is the main driver and this desire triumphs over logistical considerations like location and schedule viability, it can cause serious issues.
The Big Ten Announcement
The Big Ten’s announcement on Thursday that USC and UCLA would join its ranks beginning in 2024 caused yet another seismic change in college athletics. A conference that was once exclusively attended by flinty Midwesterners will soon become a bicoastal event, and the repercussions of such a change are still being felt.
Here, we make an effort to explain the fundamentals of USC and UCLA joining the Big Ten, as well as what it implies for all of collegiate athletics.
Even in sports, the participation of USC and UCLA in a conference made up of colleges primarily in the Mid-West raises logistical problems. It is absurd to think that the USC football team would travel to Piscataway, New Jersey for a conference matchup versus Rutgers once every two years or so. However, the tremendous amounts of money the football programmes generate make the proposal acceptable. The television ratings, ticket sales, and other various forms of income that teams generate allow them to travel across the country several times a year to play conference opponents. Men’s basketball doesn’t generate as much money as football, but owing to the revenue stream, modifications can still be made from the sport.
Will the Big Ten include schools besides USC and UCLA?
Following the revelation that USC and UCLA were leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten at the end of June, the expanding league has frequently been associated with other Pac-12 schools, such as Oregon and Washington. Notre Dame is something Warren is also interested in including.
Warren stated, as the Media reported at the time, that he might someday envision the Big Ten conference growing to 20 teams during an appearance on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” in August.