Sources reporting Big Ten interest in Pac-12 schools

Multiple sources are reporting that several Big Ten Presidents are talking about possibly adding Washington and Oregon, with some interest in Stanford and Cal also expressed.

Also, Paul Finebaum is saying that he thinks the end of the Pac-12 is coming soon and that the Apple+ plan might be the nail in the coffin. I’ve seen one story suggesting that the Pac-12 and the ACC should merge to save themselves. FSU has expressed some interest in leaving the ACC unless they can come up with a different revenue sharing plan.

If the Big Ten were to take Washington, Oregon, Stanford and Cal, and the Big Twelve were to take Arizona, ASU and Utah, Washington State and Oregon State would be left standing when the music stops.

The Arizona Board of Regents, which administers both Arizona and ASU, is meeting in executive session tonight, with two items on their agenda that could relate to a possible move from the Pac-12 to the Big Twelve.

The Pac-12 dominoes could start falling in a hurry.

The Big Ten Commissioner has been told to explore adding Washington and Oregon.

ESPN is now reporting that Arizona is in ‘deep discussions’ to join the Big Twelve, an announcement could come soon.

YES! It’s happening! Not quite so sure about the Bay Area two (the Big Ten seems to be waiting on FSU with that), but Washington and Oregon seem likely at this point. The Athletic article says the Big Ten is waiting for the Four Corners Schools to move because they don’t want to be the one that killed the Pac 12, but really the Pac 12 killed itself and the Big Ten is smart to be ready to move in.

Amazing that the Athletic article pointed out that even if UDub and Oregon come in as half-revenue members, they will make more than they would in the Big XII and waaaaaay more than the Pac 12. It makes sense and I think Stanford is a natural fit too - just not sure they’ll come w/o Cal and not sure the Big Ten wants Cal.

I’m eagerly anticipating the first Purple Palooza game on the shores of Lake Washington in Husky Stadium! And Autzen will be an awesome road trip too. I know this is all about football, but you just need a travel pod for the non-football sports to make sense and the Big Ten still pays lip service to academics at least, hence Stanford (with the hopes of the Evil Empire being #20 perhaps?).

But the Pac 12 is on borrowed time. I think we get to 20 and have a Big Ten West and Big Ten East before things settle down, or if the ACC starts to crumble too, then it could get up to 24 with the SEC and Big Ten fighting over the major ACC schools like FSU, UNC, Clemson and UVa.

Again, so thankful we are a charter member of the Big Ten in this or we’d be out in the cold by now. And while it’s not good for football (but that’s the least of the football program’s worries right now), I think it will be great for all the purple alums out on the west coast and good for our other sports as well.



If AZ leaves the PAC 12 the conference could be history. Especially It can’t be good for Cal . They could wind up an orphan. Too bad NU has more pressing issues


The fiscal calculus on this may come down to “Do we want Cal and Stanford to be in our superconference or are we OK with them being in the SEC’s superconference?”

Will the ACC’s dominos start falling? FSU seems ready to jump.

Has anyone thought about the scheduling mechanics of a 18 team, 20 team or larger conference?

Football: With 18 teams an 8+1 schedule (1 rivalry game) should allow teams to face all 17 other conference teams every other year while maintaining one rivalry game per team. With 20 or more teams that seems mathematically impossible unless they went to having more than 9 conference games. Could we see a push for a 13 game regular season schedule? That might be one way to extract more money from the media partners.

Basketball: With a 20 game conference schedule and 18 teams, that means there are only 3 teams that would play home-home schedules, with 20 teams that’s down to 1 and with more than 20 teams they’d either have to expand the conference season to get a full round robin schedule or have a rotation schedule in which some teams don’t face each other every year.

Volleyball, baseball, softball and other sports may have similar issues, I don’t know their season parameters well enough.

According to The Athletic (sub) momentum for expansion waned overnight. AZ seems to be trying to figure out if ASU is willing to go to the Big 12.

FSU does this every few years, then the rational heads run the numbers and realize the exit fee is 300 million and then there’s13 years of media rights to buy out. They grumble and stay quiet for a few more years. The UNC president yesterday basically said just shut up.

Nothing will happen until AZ makes up its mind and the remaining PAC-12 members decide if they want to stay together or Oregon anc Washington want to take much reduced shares from B1G. There will not be much additional tv money for adding those two or those plus the Bay Area. A jump in BTN revenues but that’s certainly not a long term thing with cord cutting accelerating.

There are definitely computer programs out there to help with scheduling Though various parameters would probably be set by human committee

Several years ago MLB used a program developed by a Northwestern Engineering alum for their scheduling. I heard him speak at a gathering. He indicated there were a whole myriad of constraints mostly dictated by the Master agreement with the union ; such as a limit to the amount of miles teams traveled in a season, or how often a day off was required, etc. He told us that they were never able to meet all of the constraints of the agreement. They simply forced some that didn’t qualify


I can’t say MLB’s 2023 schedule is all that great. The Cubs and the Cardinals finished their season schedule in July! I’d rather see more division games and fewer games against the American League, but I’m not the guy writing the checks with lots of zeros on them to MLB.

AZ seems to be trying to figure out if ASU is willing to go to the Big 12.

Considering the finger-pointing that went on for several years as to whether it was Nebraska or Colorado that tried to kill off the Big Twelve by leaving, I can see where Arizona, ASU, Washington and Oregon all don’t want to be labeled as the Pac-12 killer.

Likewise, the Arizona Regents, who control both schools, could probably force the issue, but they don’t want that label, either.

But IMHO Finebaum is right, the Pac-12 is dead, it’s just a question of who pronounces time of death and how soon.

Someone needs to come up with a survival plan for the remaining schools. Stanford and Cal are probably better off than Oregon State and Washington State in that regard. I wonder just how firm Notre Dame’s contract is with the ACC? I bet there are plenty of lawyers looking into just that.

ESPN is reporting that the Big Ten is about to offer Washington and Oregon entrance into the Big Ten, so it looks like the Big Ten is willing to make the first formal move.

Paul Sullivan of the Trib has his usual interesting take on the Big Ten’s growth spurt. Hopefully this isn’t behind the Trib’s paywall.

ESPN is now reporting that ASU and Utah have applied for membership in the Big Twelve.

ESPN says it is a done deal, Washington and Oregon will be joining the Big Ten in 2024.

So the 2024 and 2025 football schedules will need to be redone.

And the Big XII just welcomed the rest of the Four Corners Four.



At what point does the Big 10 change its name? While the conference has has more than 10 members since letting Penn State in more than 30 years ago, the name was presumably kept because of the great brand name it carried representing mid west football. With 18 teams and counting , and with 4 of the teams soon to be from the West coast and 2 on the East any bets on will the name be changed starting next season?

Side question: if all the Pac 12 teams that are bolting are having to pay exit fees, does this mean that just the 4 survivors get to split up the one time bounty?



They DID change their name, or at least their logo. And if you take the logo literally, 16 would be a logical place to stop.

But I don’t think going past 16 teams is going to bother the B1G. IMHO they are WAY more interested in the “big” part of their name than that number.

Bottom line, they are never going to change the name. There is too much brand equity and if they do attempt to have the name reflect the number of teams in the conference, they would be changing their name every year for a while until all of this sorts out. They have WAY too much ego to do something like that.



I think the “survivors”, as you refer to them, are in a terrible situation—especially Stanford, which is now looking at having to give up many of its men’s and women’s teams in sports such as tennis and golf in which it has traditionally excelled and recruited spectacularly (e.g., John McEnroe and Tiger Woods, to cite two legends). I really wish the B1G would have also brought in Stanford and Cal if it was hell-bent on poaching the PAC-12. We have played both teams reasonably well over the years, and they are a natural fit with NU academically and athletically. I still recall Clayton’s stirring run down the sideline against the Trees to win his first game as a freshman. He could really scoot for a big guy before he tore his ACL. And he had a couple of good jousts with Jared Goff as his opposite number for the Golden Bears.

Personally, I can’t stand Oregon or all of their hideous “neon” uniforms, which ooze Nike $$ to me, although I have nothing against the Huskies, and have had good times when I have journeyed to Seattle.


Paul H. Levinson