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What's next for Big 12 and SEC after Big Ten expansion?

UCLA USC Football
Posted at 6:40 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 19:50:50-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If reports are true, college football is in for another shake-up this summer: USC and UCLA are on the move to the Big Ten, perhaps as early as 2024.

"It was about this time last year that Texas and Oklahoma announced they were leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, and I thought that was going to start the next round of realignment," said sportswriter Blair Kerkhoff of The Kansas City Star.

Kerkhoff was right. The move would expand the Big Ten to a conference with 16 teams that spans both coasts.

"USC versus Rutgers in football, we're going to have to go cross country now for games," said Kerkhoff. "That's the power of football."

The Big Ten would then match the SEC once the Sooners and Longhorns arrive with 16 teams apiece.

"That's the next question, 'Is 16 where it's going to stop?' and to be honest with you, I don't think so," said Kerkhoff. "I think we're going to see more expansion from the SEC and the Big Ten."

And now the ball might be in the Big 12's court. The league is scheduled to expand by four schools (BYU, UCF, Houston and Cincinnati) next summer.

New Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark just started the job on Wednesday.

"He's got his agenda filled," said Kerkhoff. "He's got a big decision to make. Does the Big 12 become aggressive and go after Arizona schools or Colorado and Utah? Does he reach some sort of agreement with the Pac-12 Commissioner? Do they former some sort of merger or alliance?"

"What is the best value for the Big 12?"

What is the best value for individual schools? That might be another question that's being asked. For instance, the University of Kansas has long been tied to Big Ten rumors. The conference values academic AAU status, which KU has.

"I think it's time to pay attention to the idea of Kansas in the Big Ten, if the Big Ten is not going to stop at 16 and it's going to go to 20 or 24," said Kerkhoff.