Oregon and Washington officially move from Pac-12 to Big Ten

Oregon and Washington completed a deal to join the Big Ten starting with the 2024-2025 season on Friday, which continues to cut Pac-12 numbers and jeopardize the future of this conference.

The schools officially applied for membership on Friday and were accepted following a Big Ten vote later that day.

“We are delighted to welcome the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to the G10 Conference,” G10 Commissioner Tony Petitti said in a statement. “We look forward to building long-term relationships with universities, administration and staff, student athletes, coaches and fans.

“Both institutions combine academic and sporting excellence that are great for our future.”

Funding for the move isn’t entirely clear, but both Oregon and Washington will only receive a fractional share of the conference’s appropriation during an upcoming television deal that runs through the 2029-30 school year.

The move will push the Big Ten to 18 schools. Beginning in 2024, this will be the western wing of USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington. None of these schools are required to pay an entry fee due to an expiring Pac-12 television contract.

The departures set the former Oregon-Washington conference, the century-old Pac-12, in motion. Arizona has applied for and been admitted to the Big 12, sources told ESPN, although that deal has yet to be finalized. The states of Utah and Arizona also applied for official membership in the Big 12 on Friday, the sources said.

With Pac-12’s television contract expiring after the 2023-24 school year, the conference is in danger. The departure of Colorado last week, the loss of Oregon and Washington, and the expected departure of Arizona devastated the league.

The only certainty of moving forward are California, Stanford, Oregon and Washington State. Pac-12 can’t just add Mountain West programs to the league in 2024, with a $32 million fee charged for each Mountain West school until the start of the 2025 football season.

The decision of Oregon and Washington to enter the Big Ten will not be a financial windfall in the short term. The deal is expected to expand every year, but is still only about half of what the other 16 conference teams are expected to receive. The source said the payouts will increase every year and will be competitive with, and possibly even surpass, those of leagues such as the Big 12 and the ACC.

This number in the Big Ten is constantly changing, so schools don’t have clarity on this yet. That’s because the Big Ten’s long-term TV deal is unfinished, along with variables like college football playoff money and NCAA tournament units, but a fair estimate is around $70 million a year.

The numbers from the Big Ten were compared to the mixed numbers that Pac-12 received in its streaming deal with Apple, which included subscription incentives that had to be used so that schools could make big money.

The Big Ten and Washington and Oregon returned to in-depth discussions Friday morning after the Pac-12 presidents’ call quickly ended due to a lack of comfort in moving forward with a major streaming deal, sources said.

“The stability and affordability of joining the G10 is of great benefit to the University of Oregon, and we are grateful to the G10 presidents and chancellors for accepting our application to attend the conference,” said Rob Mullens of Oregon. “We look forward to having our student-athletes take part in this conference, which includes many of the best programs in the country across all sports.”

“We have the utmost respect and gratitude for the Pac-12 and its precious history and tradition,” Washington AD’s Jennifer Cohen said. “At the same time, the landscape of college athletics has changed dramatically in recent years. The history of athletic and academic success and the long-term stability of the Big Ten are the best fit for our teams for future success, and we are energized by the opportunity to compete in competition. the highest level against some of the best programs in the country.”

The move makes the Big Ten the first major conference to feature 18 teams and will further advance the idea of ​​moving towards super conferences. The SEC will debut as a 16-team conference with Texas and Oklahoma in 2024, the same year that the Big Ten introduce their additions to the West Coast. The “Big 12” has officially increased to 13, and that number may rise soon.

Oregon and Washington are strong football additions to the Big Ten as they made it to the college football playoffs. They will join Ohio, Michigan and Michigan states as CFP teams in this league.

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