Big Ten adding Oregon and Washington, leaving Pac-12 with uncertain future

The Big Ten is in the final stages of negotiating an expansion to 18 teams and adding the Universities of Oregon and Washington, industry sources told Yahoo Sports.

The move adds a Pacific Northwest presence to the arrival of USC and UCLA while bringing two known football brands to the Big Ten’s broadcast offerings.

Both schools are expected to agree to a cut rate — perhaps as low as 50 percent — of the Big Ten’s media revenue that could reach $65 million/year per institution. That is still more than the Pac-12’s proposed media deal with Apple, which is estimated to be in the $20-25 million range.

The Big Ten confirmed the addition of the two schools in a statement late Friday.

"We are excited to welcome the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to the Big Ten Conference,” said Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti. “We look forward to building long-lasting relationships with the universities, administrators and staff, student-athletes, coaches and fans. Both institutions feature a combination of academic and athletic excellence that will prove a great fit for our future."

Both Oregon and Washington committed to continuing their annual rivalries with Oregon State and Washington State, respectively.

"In coming years, the UO will prioritize the long-held traditions, including competition across all sports with Oregon State University," Oregon president Karl Scholz said.

Added Washington president Ana Mari Cauce:

"The opportunities and stability offered by the Big Ten are unmatched. Even with this move, we remain committed to the Apple Cup and to competing with WSU across all of our sports."

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Big Ten presidents met Friday morning to discuss expansion and settled concerns about increased travel and the logistics of an 18-team conference.

After a roller coaster of exploration and negotiation across the week, the Ducks and Huskies will exit the Pac-12, leaving the 108-year-old league with an uncertain future.

The University of Arizona is thus expected to take an offer to head to the Big 12, and both Arizona State and Utah submitted applications of their own late Friday. The Pac-12 was already down to nine teams with the defections of Colorado, USC and UCLA in 2024.

The four remaining schools — Cal, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State — will need to regroup, either on their own or together. If the Pac-12 survives as a brand, it will be unrecognizable to its reputation as the "Conference of Champions" that served as the pre-eminent college athletics league out west for generations.