Report: Four Pac-12 schools on the Big Ten's shortlist for expansion
During his time at the podium Tuesday at Big Ten Media Days, league commissioner Kevin Warren left the door open on further additions being made to the league’s membership down the line.
They would need to be the right additions at the right time, and they’d need to add value.
Warren reportedly told The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy later on Tuesday that he has a list of schools in mind who would add the requisite value to make it make sense for the Big Ten. Citing sources, McMurphy then reported that Oregon and Washington are among those teams. No surprise there; those two have been linked to the Big Ten since news broke UCLA and USC were leaving the Pac-12 in 2024.
However, McMurphy reported the Big Ten also has interest in Stanford and Cal. Florida State and Miami from the ACC were also mentioned, though McMurphy made clear Warren didn’t specifically name any schools during their chat.
“When I say add value: value is important, but I just look at the fit,” Warren told Action Network Tuesday at Big Ten Media Days. “A fit has to be there academically, has to be there athletically. All those things are really important. There are a handful of schools that potentially could add value to us, but I’m so focused right now that we welcome USC and UCLA to our conference in 2024 with open arms.”
Warren said he was proud that USC and UCLA are AAU (Association of American University) members but also said being an AAU member is not a requirement for a potential future member.
“It could be two months to two years,” another source said. “There could be an odd number, and there are not any specific number of teams.”
Warren addressed Tuesday’s main talking point head-on during his opening statement to kick the day off Tuesday.
“I get asked every single day, ‘What’s next?’” he told reporters gathered on the field inside Lucas Oil Stadium. “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 to our conference.”
The value Oregon and Washington bring is obvious.
Some have speculated that Stanford should be included in any speculative Big Ten wish lists because of the access to Bay Area television homes and the academic power of the institution. The natural question that always raised was simple: if the Big Ten is adding UCLA and Stanford, what happens to Cal?
Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff is currently in a 30-day exclusive negotiating window for the league’s next media rights deal. That window closes on Aug. 4. Kliavkoff is looking for answers to give the remaining 10 members in the league.
They’ll all gather in Los Angeles on Friday for Pac-12 Media Day. With his own teams the talk of the town over in Big Ten country, we’ll see what Kliavkoff has to say later this week.