The impending move of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC continues to shake up the college sports landscape. But from a cultural perspective, nothing feels odd about the Longhorns and Sooners joining the SEC.

Former conference rivals Missouri and Texas A&M await both teams in the SEC. Arkansas was a Southwest Conference rival of Texas, and Fayetteville is less than an hour from the Oklahoma border. There’s a cultural connectivity that should make it a sensible transition for Sooners and Horns fans.

The same cannot be said of USC and UCLA’s move to the Big Ten. Nebraska is the nearest conference opponent, and the strongest connection between Nebraska and Tinseltown is the Oscar-nominated 2013 indie flick “Nebraska.”

But perhaps this will still work out to be mutually beneficial for all involved parties. It already is, if you really think about it. The top five soy-producing states are all in B1G country. And who consumes more soy milk than Southern Californians?

With all the media rights money they’ll make from the Big Ten’s next TV contract, USC and UCLA will be able to purchase plenty of soy milk. Or whatever else they want to put in the team dining hall.

Because of that impending cash infusion, most Bruins and Trojans fans seem quite pleased to leave their Pac-12 brethren behind in 2024. And have very little interest in bringing any of them along.

But how much do they actually know about their future rivals?

In the spirit of inclusivity, we’ve created the following B1G primer exclusively for USC and UCLA fans looking to learn more about their new conference mates. (Can something be both inclusive and exclusive? Probably not, but I’m rolling with it.)

With a nod to local sensibilities, this list has been heavily Hollywoodized.


What the Illini are known for

Like cicadas, the Illini unexpectedly pop up with a great team every 10-15 years or so before heading back under ground. This applies to both football and basketball.

The L.A. connection

The alma mater of legendary linebacker Dick Butkus, who many Los Angelenos surely recognize as Coach Mike Katowinski on “Hang Time.”

Illinois graduate Hugh Hefner also owned property in Los Angeles until his 2017 death.


What the Hoosiers are known for

Basketball. Indiana’s five national championships rank fourth all-time behind UCLA, Kentucky, and North Carolina. However, each of those programs have won a title more recently than the Hoosiers. Some might also know Indiana for not winning a bowl game since 1993.

The L.A. connection

Lee Majors, The Six Million Dollar Man, arrived at Indiana on a track and football scholarship before transferring to Eastern Kentucky after two years. Nobody complained much about the transfer portal in 1959.


What the Hawkeyes are known for

Using more tight ends than you think the rule book permits.

The L.A. connection

Much like Illinois, Iowa produced a Hall of Fame defensive player who would go on to take a star turn in Hollywood: Alex Karras. Karras stole the show as Mongo in “Blazing Saddles,” then played Webster’s godfather in “Webster” a decade later.

The 1989-97 show “Coach” was set at fictional Minnesota State, but the exterior campus shots were filmed at Iowa. Craig T. Nelson’s titular role of Coach Hayden Fox was also named after Iowa coach Hayden Fry.


What the Terrapins are known for

Putting their gaudy state flag on every article of clothing they can find.

The L.A. connection

Larry David is a 1970 Maryland graduate.


What the Wolverines are known for

Winged helmets and pleated khakis. Some also know Michigan for being college football’s all-time wins leader at 976 and counting.

The L.A. connection

Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh played Screech’s cousin on an episode of Saved By The Bell: The New Class.

RIP, Dustin Diamond. (Also, today I learned Saved By The Bell: The New Class ran three seasons longer than the original. What?)

Michigan State

What the Spartans are known for

Magic Johnson, without whom Los Angeles would be a Clippers town. (It’s Hollywood, sometimes facts get made up because they sound better.)

And if you actually are a Clippers fan who resents Magic, we offer you another Spartan: Kirk Gibson.

And if you’re somehow a Clippers and Angels fan… why do you still like sports?

The (other) L.A. connection

Former Michigan State football star Bubba Smith played Moses Hightower in the never-ending “Police Academy” series, which was basically the Fast and Furious of the 1980s.

Smith, like Butkus and Karras, was an intimidating all-Big Ten defensive player. Had they played in the ’50s or ’60s, the Bosa brothers would have been in every movie or TV series 20 years later.


What the Golden Gophers are known for

Minnesota is a hockey school trapped in a “football and basketball matter a lot more for revenue” body. The Gophers also play on an elevated basketball court that players can fall off of.

The L.A. connection

Ron Perlman, who received a Masters in Fine Arts from Minnesota, starred as the villain in “Police Academy VII: Misson to Moscow” before going on to far more acclaim as Hellboy.

Of course, the far more visible Minnesota-to-L.A. connection is the Lakers. The Lakers kept their Minnesota-inspired name even after moving to Los Angeles in 1960.


What the Cornhuskers are known for

Bruce Springsteen has an entire album called Nebraska, but the Huskers can best be summed up by his Born In The USA track “Glory Days.” Nebraska continues trying to recapture the glory of its 1970s-90s heyday to the point that it is giving the program’s worst coach in 60 years another shot because he played for some of those teams.

The L.A. connection

If you asked yourself “Wasn’t Johnny Carson from Nebraska?” then you are correct, sir! And if you’re old enough to understand that reference, remember to have your cholesterol levels checked.

Carson graduated from Nebraska with a degree in radio and speech before eventually hosting “The Tonight Show” for 30 years. Carson was the show’s host when it moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1972.


What the Wildcats are known for

Meet your new version of Stanford. In other words, at some point USC is going to show up in Evanston as a four-touchdown favorite and lose.

Northwestern is also decidedly less Northwestern on the map than it was when founded in 1851.

The L.A. connection

Northwestern’s respected drama program makes it by far the most connected current Big Ten school to Los Angeles. Your best shot at a celebrity sighting will be if the Cats are in town, particularly since no fans show up at Northwestern’s actual home games.

Prominent Hollywood Cats (past and present) include Ann-Margret, Warren Beatty, Zach Braff, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Charlton Heston, Dermot Mulroney (but not Dylan McDermott), Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers.

Ohio State

What the Buckeyes are known for

Being the power program everybody else in the conference loves to hate.

In other words, USC, meet yourself.

The L.A. connection

Richard Lewis, who was 1 of the original stars of standup comedy in the ’80s before becoming known to modern audiences for his many cameos on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” is a Buckeye.

And since we’re talking Hollywood, we’d be remiss to forget former “Hollywood Squares” panelist Bruce Vilanch. Vilanch also co-wrote the “Star Wars Holiday Special,” which is considered by some to be the worst thing ever televised.

But you can bet none of those critics ever watched a Rutgers football game.

Penn State

What the Nittany Lions are known for

You know how Oregon shows up with a different uniform every week? Penn State is the exact opposite. These are the plainest uniforms in the game, down to the blank white helmets with a single dark stripe. And they are beloved.

The L.A. connection

Keegan-Michael Key of “Key & Peele” fame is a Penn State grad. And his legacy is the greatest piece of college football comedy in existence.


What the Boilermakers are known for

Graduating astronauts. The first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, was a Boilermaker. Some say it’s no coincidence he went as far away from West Lafayette as humanly possible soon thereafter. (Just kidding, only Indiana fans say that.)

Purdue also specializes in recruiting basketball players who are over 7-foot-2.

The L.A. connection

If John Wooden was the Wizard of Westwood, then Purdue is Hogwarts. Wooden graduated from Purdue in 1932, then led UCLA to 10 NCAA Tournament titles between 1964-75.


What the Scarlet Knights are known for

Being from Jersey.

The L.A. connection

Rutgers legend James Gandolfini had scene-stealing roles in several movies before finally making it big as mob boss Tony Soprano on HBO. It was, without exaggeration, one of the 10 most iconic roles in television history.

Gandolfini also appeared on a 2002 episode of Sesame Street.


What the Badgers are known for

Running the football, jumping around, and beating you in basketball after you’ve laughed at the team picture.

The L.A. connection

Director Michael Mann, whose credits include “Heat,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” and “Ali,” went to Wisconsin. So did the Zucker brothers, who wrote “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun.”

The Naked Gun, of course, co-starred a Heisman Trophy-winning USC running back. And featured a cameo from the Trojan Marching Band.

That’s what we call bringing it full circle. Or as you say out in Hollywood: that’s a wrap.