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Big Ten is looking into adding four Pac-12 schools, according to Yahoo! Sports

The ball’s rolling down the hill at incredible speed now.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JUL 26 Big Ten Conference Media Days Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There’s blood in the water and it would appear all the sharks are circling now.

Dan Wetzel with Yahoo! Sports reported this morning that the Big Ten Conference is now talking about bringing the Washington Huskies, Oregon Ducks, Stanford Cardinal and Cal Golden Bears into the fold. This comes just days after the Pac-12 received what’s been widely reported as a less than stellar media rights offer from Apple and just 11 days after the Big 12 Conference peeled off the Colorado Buffaloes.

Wetzel stressed the talks are very preliminary and may come to nothing but it’s widely known that the aforementioned schools covet an invitation to the Big Ten. Regardless of the quality of the offer, if it’s made, all four will leap expediently away from the Pac-12. For what it’s worth, the Big Ten did hold some discussions with Washington and Oregon around this time last year but so far, both schools remain in the Pac-12.

Matt Brown, publisher of the Extra Points newsletter (you should really subscribe if you haven’t) did note this evening that “these conversations, right now, really are exploratory in nature, rather than trying to expedite the expansion process”.

At this point though, it looks like the ball is rolling too quickly down the hill to stop things. There has been a definite tone change since Colorado pulled the rip cord less than two weeks ago and after receiving an underwhelming offer from Apple, it appears everyone has moved on to Plan B.

So what could get them back on Plan A? If you really believe it’s the goal of every Pac-12 president to remain where they are, then it’s a much better offer from Apple and a guarantee of more games on linear. Is it the CW? Is it Turner? Heavens knows it’s not ESPN or Fox, they’re not interested at this point in saving this brand, only further enriching themselves with what they currently have under contract through the end of the decade.

The timing of this leak to Wetzel today is surely telling that everyone has eyes elsewhere. There’s always the chance that this leak and the lack of push back from member institutions is a way to drive Apple’s price up but that’s around the same likelihood of yours truly ascending to the throne of Sweden tomorrow. That number isn’t zero but it is mighty close to it.

George Kliavkoff better have one hell of an ace up his sleeve at point. But I doubt he could even get everyone on a Zoom call if he asked.