College football realignment never stops.
On Thursday, the Big Ten Conference poached USC and UCLA from the Pac-12 Conference, sparking what should be another crazy summer as leagues do whatever it takes to keep their conference from crumbling. Both USC and UCLA will start competing in 2024.
This comes a year after the SEC took Oklahoma and Texas from the Big 12 — giving both the Big Ten and SEC 16 teams each in what pundits are calling “super conferences.” The Big 12 will have 12 teams after Oklahoma and Texas leave with the additions of BYU, Cincinnati, UCF and Houston.
“Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we move into the new world of collegiate sports,” said USC athletic director Mike Bohn. “We are excited that our values align with the league’s member institutions. We also will benefit from the stability and strength of the conference; the athletic caliber of Big Ten institutions; the increased visibility, exposure, and resources the conference will bring our student-athletes and programs.”
“College athletics is changing, and UCLA has always led in times of change,” said UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond. “For the sake of our student-athletes, and for preserving the legacy of Bruin excellence, we cannot afford to stand still.”
While super conferences were expected in the near future, it’s happening a lot quicker than most realized as the SEC and Big Ten look to acquire the best of the rest of the Power 5 leagues. Both conferences have always been the richest, but their successive summer blockbuster moves has widened the gap.