USC, UCLA Officially Leaving Pac-12 For Big Ten

Jun 30, 2022, 5:46 PM | Updated: 6:21 pm
pac-12 logo...
TEMPE, AZ - OCTOBER 29: The PAC 12 logo on the field during the college football game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Colorado Buffaloes at Sun Devil Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Buffaloes 48-14. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY- In an absolute blow to the the Pac-12, USC and UCLA made it official they are leaving for the Big Ten after petitioning to the conference to become members. Naturally, Twitter had a lot to say Thursday afternoon when what initially started as rumors were ultimately confirmed later in the day.

“The University of Southern California will take the historic step of joining the Big Ten Conference in 2024, a move that will position USC and its student-athletes for long-term success in both athletics and academics,” Southern California announced.

“After careful consideration and thoughtful deliberation, UCLA has decided to leave the Pac-12 Conference and join the Big Ten Conference at the start of the 2024–25 season,” the Bruins said in a statement.

“Surprised and disappointed” Pac-12 Responds

Shortly after the Trojans and Bruins made their official announcements, the Pac-12 released a statement responding to USC and UCLA’s depature.

“While we are extremely surprised and disappointed by the news coming out of UCLA and USC today, we have a long and storied history in athletics, academics, and leadership in supporting student-athletes that we’re confident will continue to thrive and grow into the future. The Pac-12 is home to many of the world’s best universities, athletic programs and alumni, representing one of the most dynamic regions in the United States. We’ve long been known as the Conference of Champions, and we’re unwavering in our commitment to extend that title. We will continue to develop new and innovative programs that directly benefit our member institutions, and we look forward to partnering with current and potential members to pioneer the future of college athletics together.” – Pac-12 Conference

How It Started

John Wilner was the first to post the bomb on Twitter stating he had sources tell him the move was eminent and likely to happen as soon as 2024. From there other news outlets began picking up the report and stating they had sources also confirming the Big Ten and USC and UCLA were in talks.

Nicole Auerbach of the Athletic followed up Wilner’s report with sources of her own, more or less confirming the same information as Wilner. Having a second noteworthy mouthpiece stating similar information put the conference realignment talks into over drive on social media.

Finally, Pete Thamel of ESPN continued to fire up the talks to where it felt inevitable the move would be coming. Thamel’s sources stated the talks were a formality at this point and an announcement was likely coming as soon as Thursday evening.

What Does This Mean For Utah?

This news leaves a rising Utah football program in a very precarious spot within college football. Do they move to the Big 12? Do they also get an invite to the Big Ten? Or will they be relegated back to a G-5 level either with whatever is left of the Pac-12 or the Mountain West Conference?

It is hard to imagine that Oregon and Washington will stay in the Pac-12 now that the SoCal schools are out. In fact, it seems very likely they will be joining USC and UCLA in the Big Ten. Stylistically speaking, the Utes are a very good fit for the Big Ten, but may not hold enough appeal yet to also make the move north with some of their Pac-12 comrades.

The most likely scenario in the immediate aftermath of the news feels like Utah joins the Big 12 with rival BYU along with Colorado, Arizona, and Arizona State. Action Network HQ’s College Football Insider Brett McMurphy reported later Thursday that such talks are seriously being considered by the Big 12 in an effort to keep up with the move to super conferences.

What is for certain is Utah has to keep doing Utah. 2022 was already a big season for the Utes and a chance to really show what they have got, but the conference realignments just added another rung of importance to making some noise. If the Utes fall short of the preseason expectations it could mean they are left on the outside looking in, but if they meet the challenge? Sky may be the limit for where they go and what they can do.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Women Stamp Their Ticket To Sweet 16

Utah women's basketball stayed strong and stamped their ticket to the Sweet 16 next weekend in South Carolina.
2 days ago
Michelle Bodkin

Red Rocks Make History With ‘Gutsy’ Threepeat, Await Regional Destination

The Red Rocks made history yesterday earning a "gutsy" threepeat as Pac-12 Champions and will now await their NCAA Regional destination.
2 days ago
Michelle Bodkin

Red Rocks Win Third Straight Pac-12 Championship

For the third straight time, Utah gymnastics are Pac-12 Champions earning the title in front of their fans at the Maverik Center.
3 days ago
Michelle Bodkin

Utah Women Make History, Will Take On Princeton

Utah women's basketball made history in their NCAA Tournament win over Gardner-Webb and will face Princeton on Sunday in the second round.
4 days ago
Michelle Bodkin

Utah Puts Away Gardner-Webb, Advances To Second Round Of NCCA Tournament

Utah came out on fire, putting away Gardner-Webb and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
4 days ago
Michelle Bodkin

Jazz Wish Utah Women’s Basketball ‘Good Luck’ In NCAA Tournament

Utah women's basketball is hosting Gardner-Webb in the first round of the NCAA Tournament tonight and the Utah Jazz wished them luck.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
USC, UCLA Officially Leaving Pac-12 For Big Ten