Report: Big Ten cooling on potential expansion

·2 min read

Big Ten media days have come and gone and there appears to be no significant traction made on making any additional expansion moves beyond the upcoming additions of USC and UCLA. And according to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, the Big Ten has seemingly moved away from the idea of adding more members from the Pac-12.

Instead, the Big Ten’s focus is now squarely on its next media rights deal, with an announcement possibly coming any week now. The Big Ten’s new media deal is expected to be massive with reports suggesting the conference will be raking in $1.25 billion. The expansion to the west coast to secure the Los Angeles market is a big reason why.

As told by Dodd, it appears the thought of additional expansion was a deterring factor as the ongoing media rights negotiations continued.

After the anxiety caused last week regarding further Big Ten expansion, industry sources have indicated the Big Ten is no longer as interested in adding California, Oregon, Stanford and Washington. Rightsholders were balking at paying the same amount for those schools as the 16 Big Ten schools going forward ($80 million-$100 million).

This is not to suggest Big Ten expansion won’t pick up quickly again if the right variable enters the mix. That would be Notre Dame. Notre Dame is still exploring its own options for its football future, but if the school decides membership in the Big Ten is right for them, then the Big Ten will quickly welcome the Irish to the mix. And if that happens, the Big Ten could rush to add at least one other member.

List

Top 17 Big Ten expansion candidates for consideration

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