With the dust settling a bit, it appears unlikely that Oregon and Washington will leave the Pac-12 and follow USC and UCLA to the Big Ten.

According to The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner, the “growing reality” for both the Ducks and the Huskies is that they will either have to settle for the Big 12 or remain in the Pac-12 and try to make things work without the L.A. schools. Wilner, citing a source, tweeted Wednesday that the Big Ten is now in full-on wait-and-see mode with Notre Dame for the next two years.


Without USC and UCLA in the fold to capture the robust Los Angeles DMA, Seattle is important to the Pac-12. Without the Trojans’ rich football history, Oregon becomes the conference’s largest remaining brand—a national one that commands respect in its own right.

Since the news broke last week that the two L.A. schools will exit the league in 2024, the Ducks and Huskies have been pointed to as the teams that will determine the fate of the Pac-12 going forward.

With commissioner George Kliavkoff getting the green light from the conference’s Board of Directors to explore expansion opportunities and immediately begin formal negotiations for the league’s next media rights deal (current deal expires in 2024), the league will be looking for immediate answers to give its antsy remaining schools.

Trust the Ducks and Huskies are both very interested in what the next TV contract will look like for the Pac-12. But if the Big Ten, per Wilner’s and several others’ reporting, is parking the bus and giving Notre Dame its full attention, the timeline offers a little more room to breathe for Kliavkoff and his team.

A number of options are on the table, including a potential partnership of sorts with the ACC to create a truly coast-to-coast collection of programs.