USC and UCLA will join the Big Ten in 2024. That news, announced weeks ago, nearly broke the sport’s collective conscious. In the immediate aftermath, the question on everyone’s mind was, “What’s next?” Did the Big Ten feel the need to continue adding teams to not just keep pace with the SEC but push out ahead? Would the SEC view the Big Ten’s move as a counter to its own addition of Texas and Oklahoma and feel pressured to make its own additions? (Nope.)

What happens with Oregon and Washington, seemingly the Pac-12’s most attractive remaining teams? Longtime Pac-12 columnist John Canzano has reported that Nike co-founder and Oregon donor Phil Knight doesn’t want to see the Ducks left behind. Washington is a more natural partner to walk to a new conference with the Ducks than Oregon State is. Much of the reporting has suggested the pair has eyes for the Big Ten.

But the Big Ten has reportedly been focused on Notre Dame as its next add, though there doesn’t seem to be much urgency there.

On Tuesday, during his trip to the main stage at Big Ten Media Days in Indianapolis, Indiana, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren certainly left the door open for future expansion.

“What’s next?” Warren said. “It may include future expansion, but it will be done for the right reasons at the right time. … We will not expand just to expand. It will be strategic. It will add additional value.”

Warren went on to say he and the Big Ten want to be aggressive “in how we build this,” adding that college athletics are “in a stage of probably a five-year period of change.”

The league’s next media rights agreement is not finalized yet, though Warren said that should happen “sooner than later.”

The point about value is the key piece to hang onto if you’re in Eugene or Seattle.

Canzano recently spoke with former FOX Sports Network president and UO grad Bob Thompson about the math the Big Ten is likely doing in all this. From his reporting:

Thompson said the Big Ten’s decision to add two Los Angeles-based universities was rooted in a simple math equation. The 14 existing conference members know they’ll receive approximately $71.4 million per university under the new Fox deal. Adding two more partners only made sense if they could generate a minimum of $143 million in additional distributable revenue.

The Big Ten appears focused on trying to lure Notre Dame into the fold right now. After that, Oregon and Washington may be of interest to the Big Ten. However, Thompson estimated that those two Pac-12 universities, along with the Oregon and Washington television markets, would only generate an additional $60 million in combined additional revenues.

If the two were added to the league, that would mean the current members were OK reducing their annual payout by a few million to add two more West Coast teams, or the Ducks and Huskies would be coming in with an escalating distribution schedule. The Big Ten has done this before; when it added Nebraska a decade ago, the Huskers waited six years to become a fully-vested member of the conference. Neither Maryland nor Rutgers entered as fully-vested members either.

Of course, Oregon and Washington carry a little more weight as athletic programs. How much value does Warren and his partners see in them?