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Oregon to Big Ten ‘Out of the Picture,’ Making Move to Big 12 a ‘Possibility’: Report

Shortly after USC and UCLA made the move to the Big Ten, reports started to fly in that Oregon and Washington might be the next schools to make the leap to the Midwest.

After reported meetings with Big Ten brass in Chicago, it seemed just a matter of time before the Ducks and Huskies would leave the Pac-12 to die.

Then, conversations cooled and Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, who was bullish on expansion, left the conference to become the President and CEO of the Chicago Bears.

 

On Thursday, Colorado became the third school to leave the Pac-12, and in doing so, heated up the talks about Oregon and Washington once again. Except this time around, the talks are taking the Ducks to the South instead of the Midwest.

According to 247Sports’ Brandon Marcello, the Big 12 appears to be a potential landing spot for Oregon, the biggest remaining brand in the Pac-12.

One factor that could lead them to join the Big 12 is that the Big Ten appears to be “out of the picture” as the conference turns its attention to the logistical issues that adding USC and UCLA presents.

“Big Ten athletic directors and presidents have directed its new commissioner to focus on transitioning UCLA and USC into the conference in 2024,” Marcello writes. “‘We have significant work to do on scheduling of other sports,’ [Big Ten Commissioner Tony Pettiti] said.

 

“…[Brett] Yormark desires a conference that spreads across four time zones and pursuing Oregon and/or Washington might be easier with the Big Ten out of the picture and the schools’ options limited as the Pac-12 hobbles on its last leg. Such a move would likely deliver the death knell to the Pac-12, and signal to the ACC that the Big 12 is, actually, the nation’s third-best conference.”

If the Big 12 were to land Oregon and/or Washington, there’s really no debate on who the No. conference in the country is. However, it sounds like there might only be room for one more addition.

According to ESPN’s Heather Dinich, the Big 12 thinks that 14 is its best number. She says, “The question is ‘who wants to be the first to really be a part of the Big 12 now and join us? … We’ve got room for one more.'”

Getting one of those programs to join the Big 12 would give it the same kind of security that the Big Ten and SEC have gotten themselves, and in this day and age, you can’t put a price tag on that.

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