The Massive Ten has begun exploratory discussions about increasing membership to 18 and even 20 groups, trade sources have advised Yahoo Sports activities. The faculties being thought-about are Oregon and Washington if the league provides two colleges, and Cal and Stanford if it desires to maneuver to twenty. All 4 establishments are at present members of the Pac-12.
The discussions are within the very early phases, sources warning. No resolution, together with on whether or not to develop or keep put at 16 groups, has been made or is taken into account imminent.
The Massive Ten might also patiently wait to see what occurs with different Pac-12 colleges and their potential transfer to the Massive 12 earlier than performing in any respect.
Nevertheless, ballooning the league to as many 20 groups by including a six-team West Coast flank – together with 2024 arrivals USC and UCLA — is an actual chance. That is very true if the Pac-12, which dates again to 1915, falls aside within the close to future.
A gaggle of 4 Massive Ten college presidents started the preliminary course of on Wednesday. The day prior, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff introduced a media rights bundle to his membership that was heavy on video games showing on an Apple Plus subscription streaming service. Income estimates have been as little as $20 million per yr per college.
By comparability, Massive Ten colleges will obtain a minimal of $50 million a yr with video games principally showing on linear tv — CBS, Fox and NBC. That quantity is anticipated to develop yearly. In the meantime, the Massive 12 has a $31.7 million per yr bundle for colleges.
Final week, Colorado left the Pac-12 for the Massive 12 beginning in 2024 with out even listening to Kliavkoff’s long-delayed supply. After the presentation, hypothesis ramped up that Arizona would observe, with Arizona State and Utah potential flip choices as properly.
With the Pac-12 liable to splintering, Oregon, Washington, Cal and Stanford renewed their push to the Massive Ten, in search of a protected, and much richer harbor, for its athletic packages beginning in 2024.
The Massive Ten has been reluctant to maneuver to twenty groups, even when many in school athletics consider expansive superconferences are inevitable. One motive has been a hesitancy to ship the ultimate harmful blow to the Pac-12, though the poaching of UCLA and USC brought about large destabilization.
The Massive Ten was, for generations, Midwestern-based with a like-minded membership. The trendy realities of school athletics although is to go greater seeking marquee matchups that includes large branded groups that may draw hundreds of thousands of viewers.
The Massive Ten’s considering is that if the Pac-12 goes to be decimated anyway with the departure of Arizona, Arizona State and Utah, and 20-team nationwide conferences are the long run, then why not act now when the convention is already in transition? It might simply add Oregon and Washington, however at that time, why not deliver alongside Cal and Stanford?
In 2022, the Massive Ten agreed to a seven-year, $8 billion media rights take care of Fox, CBS and NBC. A part of the choice can be primarily based on whether or not these broadcast companions are keen to supply a professional rata share — or one thing shut — with the addition of 4 extra colleges.
The transfer would give the Massive Ten management of the West Coast, particularly California, in addition to open a brand new tv window with video games performed in prime-time out West and late evening within the East.
Oregon and Washington have fielded robust soccer packages previously and have glorious fan bases and markets in Portland and Seattle.
Cal and Stanford have been much less profitable of late, however deliver the large Bay Space not only for soccer viewership however in attracting potential college students and connecting with company companions and alumni. All 4 colleges are members of the distinguished Affiliation of American Universities.
The draw back is just getting too large, too quick. Additions would dilute the quantity present members play one another and threaten regional rivalries. Then there may be simply the logistics of an unwieldy league that stretches from Southern California, to the Pacific Northwest, by means of farm lands and Midwestern cities all the best way to the sting of Washington D.C. and New York.
One supply tossed out the opportunity of taking part in the Massive Ten championship recreation some years within the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, relatively than Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Additionally a chance is a extra regional primarily based setup for so-called Olympic sport journey.
If the Massive Ten is keen to work by means of the main points, then this deal will get completed. The 4 Pac-12 colleges will leap at a membership supply.
If that’s the case, the remaining of the so-called four-corner colleges — Arizona, Arizona State and Utah — would nearly actually depart for the Massive 12, making that league 16 groups robust. They might do it even earlier than the Massive Ten acts.
That will a bitter growth for the present Pac-12 members left behind — Oregon State and Washington State. They might probably be part of the Mountain West Convention or to take care of the Pac-12 model and merge with any variety of MWC colleges.
Each colleges have proud fan bases, however restricted market share as a consequence of geography and different components.
Unknown is that if the SEC, which can transfer to 16 groups by including Texas and Oklahoma in 2024, would take into account a counter-move to its Midwestern rival and go to twenty colleges robust. Quite a lot of ACC colleges are fascinating, however these colleges are believed to be locked right into a grant-of-rights deal that runs till 2037.
Then there may be Notre Dame, a proud unbiased who might lastly really feel pushed to hitch a league full-time.