The 2023 college football offseason was dominated by talk of realignment, conferences disbanding, and the general overhaul of how each conference is perceived. When the season started, however, that talk dissipated.
So, when is Oregon going to the Big Ten? And what’s their prognosis inside the oldest Division I conference in the country?
When is Oregon Going to the Big Ten?
With the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans setting the stage for former Pac-12 teams to move about the conference slate, specifically to the Big Ten, the Oregon Ducks were largely seen as the next potential target for the conference.
UCLA, USC, Oregon, and the Washington Huskies will officially join the Big Ten on August 2, 2024. The teams will play football as members of the conference for the 2024 season.
Why is Oregon Joining the Big Ten?
We know the when. Perhaps the why is even more interesting for the Ducks joining the Big Ten. It made complete sense for the conference itself.
A predominant Midwestern location for the Big Ten, they entered the 2023 season with no teams more west than Nebraska and have never had a West Coast team. Now, with Oregon and the host of Pac-12 teams, the Big Ten is truly spread into every market in the country.
For Oregon, it meant continued growth.
“I’m thrilled that the University of Oregon has the opportunity to join the nation’s preeminent academic-athletic conference,” Oregon President John Karl Scholz said in a statement this past August. “Our student-athletes will participate at the highest level of collegiate athletic competition, and our alumni, friends, and fans will be able to carry the spirit of Oregon across the country.”
What’s Left of the Pac-12?
Oregon’s departure sent a seismic movement through the Pac-12, maybe more so than UCLA and USC’s collective departure. Soon after the Ducks announced their intentions to leave the conference, Colorado followed suit while Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah also joined the picture, moving to the Big 12.
The Ducks’ departure left just in-state rival Oregon State and Washington State as the two remaining programs in the Pac-12, subsequently issuing the death warrant for the conference. The Beavers and Cougars, at the time of publish, are still in a state of flux as to where they’ll play their games in 2024.