The landscape of college athletics is in the midst of a seismic shift, and there's no turning back.
On Thursday, reports surfaced that USC and UCLA were exploring the possibility of departing the Pac-12 Conference for a move to the Big Ten, and the realignment could happen as soon as 2024.
The West Coast schools — who were founding members of the original Pac-8 back in the 1960s — estimate that they will more than double their annual media distribution rights by joining the Big Ten.
In laymen's terms — it's all about the money.
Adding USC and UCLA is the Big Ten Conference's response to last summer's conference realignment developments, which saw Big 12 powers Texas and Oklahoma forsake their well-established connections to bolt for the Southeastern Conference. That deal is expected to go through for the 2025 season and beyond.
The move by Texas and Oklahoma led to programs like Cincinnati, Houston, BYU and UCF to leaving the American Athletic Conference for greener pastures in the Big 12.
Along with giving the Big Ten Conference a strong presence on the West Coast, the additions of USC and UCLA would increase the conference's lineup to 16 schools - the same amount the SEC will have once Texas and Oklahoma make the move in '25.
More details on this story are sure to come in the days ahead, as it is being reported that this move by USC and UCLA is happening very quickly.