Unless you live under a rock, you are aware of the out-of-no-where move late last week, where the Big Ten conference announced that they are adding USC and UCLA for the 2024-25 school year. Quite the counter-punch to the SEC adding Texas and Oklahoma just a short time ago. This enhances the Big Ten brand from literal coast to coast, and gives them the ability to garner a much more lucrative TV deal, heading into those negotiations.
We are official moving towards a situation where it will be the Big Ten, the SEC, and everyone else.
The Big Ten isn’t finished adding teams, and here are our predictions on who they will add – spoiler – bringing the conference to 24 teams.
This is the most obvious choice for the Big Ten, as it is a national brand and makes perfect since in the current footprint. It fits the academic piece which continues to be important to the Big Ten. Team Count: 17
Washington & Oregon
The Big Ten has already informed Washington and Oregon that they are placing discussions on hold until Notre Dame gives them some kind of definitive answer. This locks up the Northwest, and adds a huge brand in Oregon. Team Count: 19
Duke & North Carolina
These two schools are tied together and we don’t see a situation in which they would split up. The ACC is not going to get out unscathed in this. The SEC is going to grab teams like Clemson and Florida State, so these two would be wise to get out. The academics fit, the basketball fits… the football is meh, but in terms of the bigger picture, this makes sense. Team Count: 21
Why not get all the basketball blue bloods together? Kansas is a natural fit in terms of geography, they are an AAU member school – which is important to the Big Ten. Team Count: 22
Cal & Stanford
It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for Cal to be slit up from UCLA. Both school are AAU member schools, and Stanford being in the same conference as Northwestern, Duke, and Notre Dame would be a great fit for them.
For fun, if you broke down into two divisions:
West: Cal, Stanford, Washington, Oregon, USC, UCLA, Nebraska, Minnesota, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern
East: Rutgers, North Carolina, Duke, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Notre Dame, Purdue, Illinois, Ohio State, Penn State
Utah – another AAU school in a good Salt Lake City market
Arizona – AAU school in another good media market
We really cannot wait to for this to transpire. Look for another article coming up about how these last two major moves will be the end of the NCAA as it pertains to the “Power 5” schools.