Greg Schiano: Adding UCLA, USC football to the Big Ten is huge for the conference
Greg Schiano always believed that Rutgers belonged in the Big Ten. The Rutgers football head coach acknowledges that the program’s move to the Big Ten in 2014 comes at a time when the conference is going through historic changes.
None more historic and altering than the incoming additions of UCLA and USC to the Big Ten in 2024.
With the addition of the two Pac-12 programs next season, the Big Ten becomes a truly national conference. It becomes the first Power Five conference to go coast-to-coast. And a conference once known for its Midwestern roots may not be done adding programs on either coast.
More expansion might be coming.
But in the here and now, Schiano is excited about what UCLA and USC are adding to the Big Ten both on and off the field.
“I’m excited about it – two great historic programs. I don’t pretend to know all the other implications of it you know? I don’t how women’s softball. I guess they’re gonna have a little series out in that direction. I don’t know how you play multiple games, obviously. You don’t go back and forth, back and forth. Nor am I really, my job isn’t to be worried about that,” Schiano told Adam Breneman on his show, ‘Next Up.’
“You know, my job is to make sure we’re getting this football program ready. We have from being in the NFL, we have strategies on how you travel when you go west. I’m not concerned about any of that.”
Schiano, as he mentioned in his answer to Breneman, has plenty of first-hand knowledge about trans-continental travel from his two years in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The addition of UCLA and USC gives the Big Ten two historic programs on the football field, but also adds the significant Los Angeles market which gives and provides considerable leverage for the media rights negotiations.
None of that matters to Schiano, but he does see and understand the significance of adding these two brands to the Big Ten.
“I am really excited about having these two in the league. It increases our footprint right to have Big Ten football on from noon till when people are going to bed late at night,” Schiano said.
“That’s awesome for the league. So I think overall for Big Ten football it’s tremendous. I think it’s the way the future I don’t think there’s going to be five conferences and all that I think I think you see it kind of shrinking coming to a pinnacle. And I’m just I consider it like I said from 2002 to trying to get Rutgers into the Big Ten.
“So we have to sit here and I got to pinch myself sometimes now coming off the field after some tough losses, you know, from Ohio State or somebody else or what am I crazy, but I still believe that intersection – that elite intersection sweet spot as I call it of academics and athletics that is the Big Ten. And we just added two great historic programs but again two great academic institutions.”