Why Pac-12 administrators want to be part of the Big Ten

Obviously, USC went to the Big Ten in large part because of all the television money which was being handed to the Trojans on a silver platter. Making north of $50 million per year more than any possible deal the Pac-12 could have offered USC for football media rights was too good to pass up. Money was the number one reason for the move. Yet, let’s not discount cultural and institutional fit.

A lot of Pac-12 administrators have Midwestern ties to begin with, but beyond that, the Big Ten has a lot of elite research institutions. Networking, mentoring, talent-sharing — these and other non-football factors were immensely attractive to Carol Folt, the president of USC. When we realize that she immediately shot down talk of Pac-12 expansion last summer, it becomes easier to see that she had her eyes on the Big Ten for quite some time. This thought didn’t just pop out of nowhere. It was in the background, and when Texas and Oklahoma moved to the SEC, that obviously opened the door for the Trojans to think about a big change.

On Thursday, Oregon President Michael Schill left to become the new president at Northwestern University. Schill sought out a specific school, whereas Folt joined a conference, but you can draw the parallel: Both of them viewed an association with the Big Ten, in some form, as a career-enhancing move.

If this all seems somewhat elusive or hard to fully process, watch this segment of our Trojans Wire show with Mark Rogers at The Voice of College Football. College sports consultant and USC alumnus Tony Altimore explained the appeal of the Big Ten Conference on an administrative level. We’re not talking about football or television or basketball, but academia.

It’s a short segment, but it begins to unpack why Pac-12 administrators like being attached to the Big Ten and its institutions:


Massive Big Ten media rights development has numerous implications for USC

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire