In a move that could shift the college sports landscape pretty significantly, Pac-12 insider Jon Wilner is reporting Thursday that USC and UCLA are planning to leave the conference and join the Big Ten.
Source: USC and UCLA are planning to leave for the Big Ten as early as 2024. Move *has not been finalized* at the highest levels of power.
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) June 30, 2022
The move would have a seismic impact on not just the Pac-12 and Big Ten but the rest of college athletics. The ACC and Big 12 will feel the need to make moves to keep up while the SEC, which already has Texas and Oklahoma incoming, could see it as a reason to continue expanding. And then we’ll find ourselves in the inevitable place that college sports have always been heading, away from the conference structure and toward a professional league.
However, in the meantime, the idea of two Los Angeles-based schools in the Midwestern-based conference has certainly created a lot of fun reactions regarding travel and game locations. And it seems like the one school that everyone can agree makes this the funniest situation possible is Rutgers.
The Piscataway, New Jersey college has been a punching bag since it joined the Big Ten, a move meant to shore up access to New York City that many felt was beneath the conference. Their football program has been a bottom-feeder for most of their run while there and they continue to seem like the odd-man-out in every Big Ten discussion.
That not only hasn’t changed with the potential arrival of USC and UCLA but it seems to have made Rutgers’ presence in all of this even more absurd and rife for jokes.
Rutgers-UCLA at Citi Field sounds like a bangerrrr
— bbs (@BurritoBrosShit) June 30, 2022
Weird way to get Rutgers to finally play in the Rose Bowl. https://t.co/B3zDdmIfWp
— Max Verstapfan (@HoyaSuxa) June 30, 2022
UCLA vs Rutgers. It's B1G! https://t.co/wahRfFRbEF
— Dan Cohen (@DanCohenTV) June 30, 2022
big ten matchup rutgers vs. USC
— Harry Lyles Jr. (@harrylylesjr) June 30, 2022
The Rose Bowl will never match Maryland vs. Rutgers as the Big Ten's most prestigious intraconference game. Sorry
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) June 30, 2022
Usc gotta fly across the country to play rutgers in the snow at noon in November lmfaooooo
— Vengeance. (@BJacks70) June 30, 2022
I can't wait for my favorite Big Ten football rivalry, UCLA at Rutgers. Nothing screams classic football like that matchup. https://t.co/WcCjVYH9K5
— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) June 30, 2022
I mean, anything can be made to make sense for football at this point, buuuuuuut … USC at Rutgers in soccer on like a Thursday night, eh?
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) June 30, 2022
Nothing would make me think Big 10 Football more than that 9am Pacific UCLA vs. Rutgers game. https://t.co/VCka4NMUma
— Niko Tamurian (@NikoTamurian) June 30, 2022
Can’t wait for Rutgers and UCLA to face off:
Rutgers in New Jersey…
UCLA in California…
THE BATTLE OF THE MIDWEST!
— Jake Marsh (@PMTsportsbiz) June 30, 2022
USC/UCLA news has somehow made it open season on Rutgers in my TL and I'm not opposed.
— Sean Keeley (@SeanKeeleyIsMe) June 30, 2022