For once, significant dominoes in college athletics realignment are falling and the Big 12 is not involved — yet.
USC and UCLA are reportedly set to join the Big Ten in the coming days, sending college athletics even further towards the possibility of two superconferences in the Big Ten and SEC.
The impending dominoes falling could also lead the Big 12 into looking to expand for the second time in the last calendar year.
Action Network’s Brett McMurphy has reported the USC and UCLA moves potentially aren’t the Big Ten’s last, and the Big 12’s reaction could be to aggressively pursue Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah to join the conference.
“The Big 12 has never been aggressive (in conference realignment), but they should contact those four Pac-12 schools and tell them, ‘Come on board because there’s nothing left in the Pac-12,’” a source told McMurphy.
The Big 12 has already added BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston starting with the 2023-24 athletics season. Adding the four schools from the Pac-12 would keep the league on the pace at 16 teams with the Big Ten and SEC, which is set to add Oklahoma and Texas in 2025.
Of course, the Big 12 just announced the official hiring of Roc Nation COO Brett Yormark as its new commissioner on Wednesday. He will be walking into a firestorm when he officially takes the reigns on Aug. 1 of this year.
There is plenty of speculation as to the next moves for the Big Ten, including potentially poaching Oregon and Washington from the left-for-dead Pac-12 or aggressively pursuing Notre Dame, the independent who has long been tied to the ACC and has contractual obligations with that league until 2036.
USC and UCLA are expected to officially announce their moves to the Big Ten in the coming days, which will just be the start of what could be another absolutely wild round of conference realignment.