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Pac-12 Exploring Conference Expansion Following Departure of USC and UCLA

The Pac-12 faces a daunting and uncertain future after losing two of its founding institutions.
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Things are going to look a lot different in the Pac-12 moving forward. That's a guarantee after USC and UCLA announced that they would be joining the Big Ten in 2024 on Thursday.

Now, the Pac-12 and its schools are left scrambling for answers and potential solutions as they try to not get left behind. Hypothetical conference divisions are being drawn up, and no scenario is off the table as college athletics, specifically college football, navigates a massive shift.

On Friday, the Pac-12 issued a statement saying that the conference is exploring all expansion options in wake up Thursday's move.

"The Pac-12 Board of Directors met this morning and authorized the Conference to explore all expansion options," the statement read. "The 10 university presidents and chancellors remain committed to a shared mission of academic and athletic excellence on behalf of our student athletes."

It's worth noting that many Pac-12 schools have released statements of their own reacting to USC and UCLA's departure, but it's been nearly impossible to nail down any consistencies, as some sound more loyal to the conference, whereas the tone of others suggests more ambiguity. 

Oregon has yet to release any formal statement to the public as of Friday afternoon.

RELATED: USC and UCLA are gone, what it means for the Pac-12; Oregon

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With this landscape-altering news, numerous hypotheticals have been proposed by fans and media members alike. One of the more popular options that has emerged in the 24 hours since the move became official is Oregon and its arch-rival Washington following USC and UCLA to the Big Ten. 

However, CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reported on Friday that the Big Ten has a different frame of mind. It appears the conference is instead placing a priority on adding Notre Dame, one of the most storied programs in all of college football, and a school that has always primarily functioned as an independent.

Dodd went on to say that Oregon and Washington have been told to sit tight while the Big Ten awaits an answer from the Fighting Irish.

All eyes are now on the Ducks as colleges throughout the West Coast and to some extent around the country, wait in limbo for the next major domino to fall.

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