The name "Big 10" will be even more of a misnomer as two West Coast schoolsUSC and UCLAhave announced plans to leave the PAC-12 and join the collegiate sports conference as early as 2024.
That will give the Big 10 a total of 16 schools that will include universities on the East Coast (Maryland), the Midwest (Northwestern, Ohio State and Michigan) and the West.
"Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we move into the new world of collegiate sports,'' USC athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement, according to the StarTribune. "We are excited that our values align with the league's member institutions.''
"We recognize these are big changes,'' UCLA's statement read. "The best way to respect that is to protect our program from the great uncertainty it would face if we did not make this transition.''
Analyst Tom VanHaaren told ESPN, "This doesn't make the conference an SEC [Southeastern Conference]-style superpower, per se, but it's definitely a step in the direction of protecting the Big Ten from being left behind. It also possibly creates an opening to add more teams out west if that opportunity arises in the future as more conferences expand and we move closer to superconferences."
According to USA Today, the Pac-12 could next lose Oregon and Washington, the next two members with the draw and support to be an option for further West Coast expansion.