Skip to main content

Big Ten Is Reportedly Targeting 5 Schools For Expansion

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren speaks at a press conference. He had a standoff with Nebraska football in 2020.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 12: Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren speaks following the cancellation of the men's basketball tournament due to concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 12, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Big Ten has already shot past the number in its name, but the conference could keep growing.

According to The Action Network's Brett McMurphy, Washington became the latest Pac-12 program to explore a potential Big Ten move. 

Per McMurphy, Washington "conducted preliminary discussions" about joining the conference. Lawyers and consultants represented the two sides in a meeting that did not include Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren.

McMurphy previously reported that the Big Ten "is not done expanding" after adding UCLA and USC. Looking to branch beyond 16 teams, the conference is also eyeing Oregon, Stanford, and Cal from the Pac-12 as well as the independent Notre Dame.

Two weeks ago, the Big Ten signed the largest media rights deal in the history of college sports. No longer partnering with ESPN, games will air on FOX, CBS, NBC, and Peacock starting next year through 2030.

McMurphy explained that the contract, currently in the range of $7-8 billion, could escalate to nearly $10 billion if the Big Ten expands. 

That's motivating the major conference to open its doors to new members. Adding more Pac-12 schools could also help ease potential travel burdens for UCLA and USC, who will become the Big Ten's only West Coast programs when joining in 2024.

By meeting with Big Ten representatives, Washington took the same preliminary step that Oregon began last week in Chicago.