From the Oregon Ducks to the Kansas Jayhawks: 12 schools that could end up in the Big Ten

·5 min read

Last week marked a seismic shift in the landscape of college sports when USC and UCLA announced their decision to join the Big Ten conference.

Questions began to swirl about the dominoes that would come after. Are we on pace for a pair of “superconferences” that dominate college football? Is this just the first of many additions for the Big Ten in the coming months?

The SEC adding Texas and Oklahoma was the proper start of something brewing but with the geographic insanity of two Los Angeles schools joining a midwest conference, it’s clear that anything is possible.

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The Big Ten likely isn’t done adding as they look to build into a power that can rival the SEC and bring in astronomical numbers from television money.

Where will the conference go next? What teams are looking to join? Here is a list of 12 schools that could potentially join a Big Ten superconference:

Oregon Ducks

A familiar Rose Bowl foe for the all Big Ten teams, Oregon to the Big Ten makes a ton of sense. They’re a school with rich athletic history, the Pac-12 is done as we once knew it, and geography is no longer a factor. The Ducks have reportedly expressed interest in joining, but the Big Ten is currently staying at 16 teams.

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Washington Huskies

Washington has a very similar case to Oregon, and the Huskies have also expressed interest to the conference. The Huskies bring a solid athletic program, a team that has excelled on the football field in recent years, and another school in the new West Coast pod of Big Ten teams. Does the conference want them? Time will tell.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

While many other teams on this list will have the Big Ten in the driver’s seat of whether or not they can join, Notre Dame is in control of its future. The Fighting Irish have a massive, passionate fan base, rich football history, and a global network of support. Their independence from the rest of the football world is likely coming to an end soon. Who will win the Fighting Irish sweepstakes?

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North Carolina Tar Heels

If the ACC loses out to a superconference combination of the SEC and Big Ten, the Tar Heels have the power to end up in one of the two major leagues. North Carolina would add to an already stacked basketball conference in a major way.

Duke Blue Devils

You can bet on Duke and North Carolina acting in tandem, similar to what USC and UCLA just did. If one goes, the other is likely to follow.

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Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia has been rumored to join the Big Ten in the past, and the fit makes a ton of sense. An excellent academic school, a successful well-versed athletic department, and a team potentially leaving the ACC if the ship starts to sink.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

With Oklahoma’s move to the SEC, that might be the natural path for the Cowboys as they explore a new conference. If there are two superconferences forming, however, it’s a safe bet that Oklahoma State will end up in one of the two.

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Miami (FL) Hurricanes

It’s hard to imagine the Big Ten not being interested in Miami. Will that interest be reciprocated? If the ACC dominoes start to fall, a program like the Hurricanes will be an attractive add for a superconference.

Syracuse Orange

Syracuse would bring a rich basketball history and an established brand name out of the ACC. The fit makes a ton of sense, especially if the Big Ten lands North Carolina and Duke.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

There were talks of Georgia Tech to the Big Ten during the last conference realignment, and there will likely be talks between the school and the league this time around. Adding the Atlanta market would expand the Big Ten footprint even further.

Utah Utes

After Washington and Oregon, Utah is likely next in the Big Ten pecking order if the conference looks to keep expanding west. The Utes have created a football power, and run the state alongside new Big 12 member BYU.

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Kansas Jayhawks

Well, it’s a tale of two sports with Kansas. The Jayhawks bring a blue blood basketball power to the conference alongside a football program that struggles to put it mildly. If the Big 12 continues to lose members, the Jayhawks will be one of the first schools on the move.

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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Who will join Big Ten Conference next? Here are 12 schools