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Oregon And Washington Officially Joining Big 10, Moves Likely A Death Blow To The Pac-12

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Oregon and Washington have finalized a deal to join the Big Ten beginning in the 2024-25 season, moves that likely are the death blow to the century-old Pac-12.

The schools formally applied for membership Friday and were accepted after a Big Ten vote later in the day.

Fellow Pac-12 schools are also on the move. Arizona applied to and was admitted to the Big 12 earlier on Friday, according to reports, although the deal has not been finalized. Utah and Arizona State have also applied to the Big 12, reports indicate. Last week, Colorado left the Pac-12 for the Big 12, starting the chain reaction. Pac-12 stalwarts UCLA and USC announced late last year that they would join the Big 10 in 2024.

The moves leave the Pac-12 with just California, Stanford, Oregon State, and Washington State. The Pac-12 will have a hard time finding schools to add to them. The Mountain West conference has a $32 million exit fee per school to leave before the start of the 2025 football season.

The Pac-12’s demise would leave the Big 10, SEC, ACC and Big-12 as the college athletics power players, with perennial top program Notre Dame remaining an independent, although having an agreement with the ACC to schedule its schools five times per season.

“We are excited to welcome the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to the Big Ten Conference,” Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti said in a statement. “We look forward to building long-lasting relationships with the universities, administrators and staff, student-athletes, coaches and fans.

“Both institutions feature a combination of academic and athletic excellence that will prove a great fit for our future.”

Oregon and Washington will receive only a partial share of the conference television money allotment through the length of its upcoming television deal, which goes through the 2029-30 school year. Their shares will escalate year by year during the transition to full money.

In any case, the shares dwarf what would be expected from the Pac-12 and ACC. The Big 10’s television deal is still being negotiated, but is expected to bring its member schools more than $50 million per year, with some estimates ranging as high as $70 million per year.

The addition of Oregon and Washington means the Big 10 now has 18 schools from coast to coast. The league last expanded in the east by adding Rutgers and Maryland.

“The stability and exposure of joining the Big Ten is of great benefit to the University of Oregon, and we are grateful to the Big Ten presidents and chancellors for accepting our application to join the conference,” Oregon AD Rob Mullens said in a statement. “We look forward to the opportunity for our student-athletes to compete in this conference, which includes many of the best programs in the nation in every sport.”

“We have tremendous respect and gratitude for the Pac-12, its treasured history and traditions,” Washington AD Jennifer Cohen said in a statement. “At the same time, the college athletics landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. The Big Ten’s history of athletic and academic success and long-term stability best positions our teams for future success, and we are energized at the opportunity to compete at the highest level against some of the best programs in the country.”

The SEC will have a 16-team conference when Texas and Oklahoma join in 2024, the same year the Big Ten adds its West Coast additions in today’s teams, plus UCLA and USC. The Big 12 is officially up to 13, and that number could rise soon.

Oregon and Washington represent strong football additions for the Big Ten, as they have taken part in the College Football Playoff. They will join Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan as past College Football Playoff teams in that league.

Content Source: deadline.com

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