College football world reacts to bombshell report USC, UCLA exploring move to Big Ten
On Thursday, a bombshell report from The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner revealed that USC and UCLA are in negotiations with the Big Ten to exit the Pac-12 as early as 2024.
Wilner reported that while the Trojans are Bruins are “planning” to exit the Conference of Champions, nothing has been finalized yet “at the highest levels of power.” Such a departure would be a significant blow to the Pac-12, but it would potentially kick start a move toward two “power” conferences at the highest level of college football rather than the five we currently know. The Big Ten and SEC—soon adding Oklahoma and Texas from the Big 12—would stand head and shoulders above other leagues.
Fans and members of the media immediately pointed to that possibility in the aftermath of Wilner’s report. Here’s some of that reaction, as well as a host of other thoughts from Twitter:
I mean, anything can be made to make sense for football at this point, buuuuuuut … USC at Rutgers in soccer on like a Thursday night, eh?
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) June 30, 2022
My thoughts: Believe it when I see it. I think UCLA and USC want a bigger share from the Pac-12 and they will get it now.
— Jason Scheer (@jasonscheer) June 30, 2022
Just hear me out, what if the Pac-12, Big10, SEC and ACC just merge?
We can call the Pac12/Big10 side of it something like the…Northwest Football Conference, or NFC for short.
The other half can be…let's say the Atlantic Football Conference. We'll call that the AFC.
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) June 30, 2022
The worst part about this for Oregon, you've gotta go to the Big Ten or Big 12 with a partner and Oregon St isn't going to cut it.
Oregon and Washington just became de facto best friends
— Kevin Wade (@KwadeSays) June 30, 2022
If USC and UCLA go to the Little 10 the real winner is logic bc they will most likely finally change their name after allowing a 16th school.
— Chris Marler (@VerneFUNquist) June 30, 2022
All of this conference realignment now is more or less temporary, the major conferences will break away from the NCAA, as a handful of ADs have suggested, and they’ll re-shuffle again. I sorta think moving now is just claiming spots in the future super league.
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) June 30, 2022
Understanding that tradition is a non-existent concept, USC/UCLA is a big plus for Big 10. Not only more TV money, but recruiting foothold in Los Angeles. Doesn't hurt in trying to draw regular students either. Longer travel, yes, but direct flights, big city, great weather.
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) June 30, 2022
The new Big 10 makes no sense. pic.twitter.com/BmFLkPyVea
— Steady Eddy (@SteadyE69) June 30, 2022
Oregon has left the Pac-12 for the LIV Tour
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) June 30, 2022
Listen, I don't blame USC for the possible Big Ten move. But a world where USC isn't in the Pac-12 just doesn't feel right.
— Alicia de Artola Castillo (@PenguinOfTroy) June 30, 2022
“The Alliance” feels about as real today as it did after the press conference.
— Michael Yam (@Mike_Yam) June 30, 2022
There has been a sense for more than a year now that the SEC and Big Ten would each grow in size, evolving into two giants of the sport where 30-35 teams operate in a semi-professional model of college football.
Most thought it was still several years away. Maybe it's not so far
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) June 30, 2022
I am not celebrating this in general but I do think it's fine to raise a glass to being correct that "The Alliance" was one of the silliest non-concepts anyone in college sports has ever tried to convince you was a real thing
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) June 30, 2022
My uneducated guess on what happens to the Pac-12
Arizona- Big 12
Arizona St- Big 12
Cal -Independent/Big Ten
Colorado- Big 12
Oregon- Big Ten
Oregon St – Big 12/MWC
Standford -Independent/Big Ten
UCLA- Big Ten
USC- Big Ten
Utah – Big 12
Washington – Big Ten
Wazzu – Big 12/MWC
— Kevin Wade (@KwadeSays) June 30, 2022
To me, this move is infinitely more shocking than Texas/OU leaving. In a way, it signals the death of college football as a regional product.
Consider me skeptical that’s a winning model long term.
— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) June 30, 2022
Time for George Kliavkoff to earn that check..
— Bill Riley (@espn700bill) June 30, 2022
— no context college football (@nocontextcfb) June 30, 2022
How UCLA and USC pulling up to the Big Ten pic.twitter.com/8o7sHZsIWE
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) June 30, 2022
If USC and UCLA depart for the Big Ten as reported, all bets are off.
Oregon and Washington would be the most attractive remaining pair, and would likely entertain moves as well.
Buckle up for a wild ride if this plays out…
— SportsPac12 (@SportsPac12) June 30, 2022
You think ESPN impacted last realignment round, that's nothing on FOX's likely impact here.
— Already has rights to at least half of next Big Ten deal.
— Owns 61% of BTN and has been sitting in on meetings w/ other potential TV partners.
— Based In LA and they love USC.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 30, 2022
Don't even know what to say about the UCLA/USC news, other than:
It's a sad day for college sports. Many of the things that make college sports great – the regionality of it, rivalries, bar arguments – will soon be gone, if not gone already
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) June 30, 2022
Rutgers after realizing they have to fly 6 hours just to get beat 42-10 by USC pic.twitter.com/GV49MBE0SF
— Stadium (@Stadium) June 30, 2022