"The Big Ten is evaluating the worthiness of adding Cal, Oregon, Stanford and Washington from the Pac-12 to expand its conference to at least 20 teams, sources told CBS Sports this week.
While not confirming expansion activities with those specific schools, Warren told CBS Sports the addition of any teams beyond USC and UCLA (joining in 2024) would come after the current media rights deal is finalized in August.
"We're not 'targeting,'" said Warren when CBS Sports directly inquired about the candidacy of those four programs. "Like I said, my focus is on taking care of our 14 institutions."
However, it's fair to say statements made during Warren's state-of-the-union address at the Big Ten Media Days this week have sent a ripple of concern through college athletics that another bombshell could drop. The Action Network first reported the Big Ten's interest in those programs.
The idea of adding Cal, Oregon, Stanford and Washington would be to establish a Western bulkhead that would be academically appealing enough for Big Ten presidents to approve further expansion. However, it's uncertain whether any of the Big Ten's future rightsholders would find value in such a move.
Financially, those four programs are not worth near the money now expected to be distributed to Big Ten schools with USC and UCLA in the fold ($80 million to $100 million annually). Competitively, though, it would be a lifeline for the Pac-12's next-best football brands.
« Back to index