Are we witnessing the real-time disintegration of the Pac-12? It feels like we might be after Jon Wilner dropped a bombshell this morning, reporting that the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins are “planning to leave” the Pac-12 and defect to the Big Ten, perhaps as early as 2024.
Source: USC and UCLA are planning to leave for the Big Ten as early as 2024. Move *has not been finalized* at the highest levels of power.— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) June 30, 2022
Since Wilner’s tweet, CFB journos went into overdrive, and as information trickled out in the subsequent hour, both Pete Thamel of ESPN.com and Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic have reported that it’s a done deal, and an announcement is imminent:
USC and UCLA's move to the Big Ten is all but wrapped up, sources tell @TheAthletic.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) June 30, 2022
Could be an announcement today.
Spoke to a few sources who called USC and UCLA's move to the Big Ten a formality, with a press conference expected in next 24 hours. Perhaps as soon as tonight. This is essentially done.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) June 30, 2022
This is obviously terrible news for WSU, in as much as the Cougars want to continue to remain relevant at the highest level of college athletics — and continue to reap the financial benefits of that arrangement. The Pac-12’s next media rights deal is right around the corner, and the conference’s negotiating position is massively weakened without both Los Angeles schools in the television footprint.
We’ll update this story as we have more information — and I think I’ll have some thoughts that are a little more coherent at some point today — but for now, have at it in the comments. What happens to us? What happens to the Pac-12?