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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Report: 1 Pac-12 school trying hard to join Big Ten

Kevin Warren smiling

Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Big 10 commissioner Kevin Warren during the Michigan Wolverines game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Conference championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten is not done trying to raid the Pac-12 for additional members, according to a new report.

Oregon has begun preliminary discussions with the Big Ten to determine whether the school is compatible with the conference, according to Brett McMurphy of Action Network. The discussions are in the very early stages, and Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and top Oregon administrators are not yet involved.

There is nothing very surprising about the Big Ten trying to add a school of Oregon’s caliber. The conference just formalized a major new television rights deal, and a report made clear in the wake of the announcement that further expansion was likely. Pac-12 powers USC and UCLA have already agreed to move to the Big Ten.

This report also makes clear that Oregon, another Pac-12 pillar, is giving some serious thought to leaving the conference. They do not have a lot of incentive to stay without USC and UCLA. That would leave them as the biggest program in an increasingly weak league, a scenario that does not offer many benefits for them. Some reports indicate that they have been thinking about a possible move for some time.

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