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Oregon, Washington ‘Vetted and Cleared’ to Join Big Ten: Brett McMurphy

Does it feel like the calm before another conference realignment storm? Well, that just might be the case.

A new report from Brett McMurphy says that the Big Ten Conference may be closer than expected to adding two more Pac-12 teams.


The Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies have reportedly been “vetted” and “cleared” by the Big Ten. While rumors of the conference’s interest in adding the two Pacific Northwest schools have been floating around for months, this is another step in that direction from one of college football’s most credible reporters.

McMurphy said in an interview with 365 Sports this past week that they are “ready for takeoff,” if things progress in that direction. “It’s just a question of when, or if, the Big Ten want to add those schools,” McMurphy stated.

“I’m told that the Big Ten and FOX do not want to have blood on their hands for being the reason the Pac-12 blew up. In a way, they’re sitting back and waiting to see what happens with Colorado or Arizona. If they leave for the Big 12, that opens the flood gates,” McMurphy added.

The Pac-12 remains in an odd place as the 10 remaining teams wait to see if commissioner George Kliavkoff can right the ship and find a new TV deal that is in the ballpark of the Big 12’s $31.7 million per year per school. Based on the various reporting, it doesn’t appear as if the league is going to come close to that number.


Add on that the differences between the two conferences when it comes to direction and enthusiasm.

FOX’s Brock Huard recently spent some time with both conferences last week at the Fiesta Summit in Arizona, a business summit that had members from both the Big 12 and Pac-12 in attendance.

As a guest of the KSL Sports Zone radio show, Huard discussed his perspective on each conference’s demeanor at last week’s get-together.

“I was in Arizona on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I got to see Kyle [Whittingham] and his wife on Monday night at dinner,” said Huard to the KSL Sports Zone’s Hans & Scotty G. “I got to mingle with a lot of the coaches and the ADs and the Commissioner (George Kliavkoff), and then we did the same the next night with the Big 12. And I will tell you, you could not have had two different environments.

“The Tuesday night get-together and shindig with the Big 12, there was so much momentum, so much energy. You know, the first-year Commissioner (Brett Yormark) is a driver. He is an expansionist … aggressive, and you feel it. The conference is following that lead as they got their TV deal, and they’re not done.”


With Brett Yormark as commissioner, the Big 12 has secured its media rights through the 2030-31 season, and will make $31.5 million per school, more than the league made when Oklahoma and Texas were a part of the conference.

Meanwhile, the Pac-12 remains in survival mode, or at least close to it as Huard points out.

“On the flip side, the night before with the Pac-12, I’m not going to say survivalist, but it was not a lot of vision cast,” Huard said. “And how could it be with so much unknown in a media deal that, as one AD told me, ‘It’s close.’ But close is good for horseshoes and that’s not good in this business because we’ve got to get this deal done.”

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