The “Big Ten” may now be expanding from 14 schools to 16 after the breaking news this afternoon. Powerhouse California universities, UCLA and USC, might be on their way to the Big Ten. News that no one had really talked about, apparently the two Southern California schools look to join the conference in 2024.
This is a confusing move for both the Big Ten and these schools. Just last year, the Big Ten announced its conference alliance with the PAC-12. Now just a year later are rumored to be taking the conference’s two biggest schools.
Big Ten: The East and West Coast
Geographically, this certainly makes no sense. Now the Big Ten, which originally was made up of Midwest schools. Will now have schools on both the East and West coast. If this does happen, I can’t help but imagine that some schools will be leaving the Big Ten. My guess would be two on the East Coast, like Rutgers and Maryland. The NCAA is treating these student-athletes like professional athletes. Badgers legend Sam Dekker chimed in on Twitter, about how ridiculous a LA to East Coast flight will be for these kids.
That Maryland to LA flight is just what those students need to succeed in the classroom during week days! Any school’s athletic program that tells you Academics is their main focus is lying to your face. Winning > Grades.
(I don’t have an opinion either way) https://t.co/fcFRNS5kAy
— Sam Dekker (@dekker) June 30, 2022
In the grand scheme of things, is this an issue with the NIL? Just yesterday, a top QB prospect signed a massive NIL deal to commit to the Miami Hurricanes.
I was all for these student-athletes to earn money off their names, but I never thought of the repercussions this could have on the smaller schools in these conferences and mid-major schools. This UCLA and USC move seems to be all about the money.
2023 QB Jaden Rashada has reportedly agreed to an NIL deal with Miami booster John Ruiz worth $9.5 million, per @On3NIL, believed to be the largest NIL deal to date.
The 4-star "turned down an $11 million offer" from Florida's Gator Collective to commit to the U. pic.twitter.com/GgLFOGDSnz
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) June 27, 2022
Fun for Big 10 Fans
However, while this wouldn’t be a smart move, it creates some pretty fun scenarios for us Badger and Big Ten fans. How about the Badgers playing at the Rose Bowl every year? Or even the fact that these two SoCal schools will have to travel to the Midwest in the middle of November for a matchup in the cold. Can you imagine USC playing at Camp Randall in November at night? Sign me up for that.
Also, if you are a night owl, get ready for some very late start times when the Badgers are in California. It’s not called “PAC-12 after dark” for no reason.
Follow me on Twitter @gamble_griffin3 and follow us @WiSportsHeroics to keep up with this Big Ten story as it unfolds. Click below to read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports! Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!