Big Ten goes Hollywood
The Big Ten dropped a bombshell Thursday, announcing the addition of Southern Cal and UCLA. What this means for college football and its future.
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🏈 B1G shakeup
The college football landscape blew up last summer when Oklahoma and Texas announced their eventual moves to the Southeastern Conference.
Almost a year later, the sport’s future remains just as unpredictable.
Southern Cal and UCLA are headed to the Big Ten, the schools and conference made official on Thursday. And yes, the Trojans and Bruins actually have a move-in date: Aug. 2, 2024.
Why it makes sense for USC and UCLA
When it comes to exposure, no conference comes close to the SEC or Big Ten. The Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC are in a race for third, which both OU and Texas had to have seen ahead of their breakup with the Big 12.
More than anything, it’s a proactive move for USC and UCLA to not be left behind if/when the SEC and Big Ten further separate themselves as college football’s most powerful conferences. While it makes zero sense geographically, USC and UCLA at least fit in as respected academic institutions and offer a television market in Los Angeles that will undoubtedly increase media revenue within the league.
In short, it’s about the money.
What it means for college football
If the battle for conference supremacy is truly on between the SEC and Big Ten, don’t expect conference realignment to stop. The two leagues might not make any more additions in the coming years, but the past two summers are leading the sport down a path where the remaining Pac-12, ACC and Big 12 powers will try to catch an invite over the next decade as media rights deals expire.
The schools that make the most sense for the SEC to add next are Clemson, Florida State and Miami. Perhaps the SEC can make its own play for the West Coast by going after an Oregon or Washington.
As for the Big Ten, why wouldn’t it try to poach more Pac-12 schools? Or better yet, how long before Notre Dame has to give up its independence and finally join a conference?
A message to the Big 12
The Big 12 introduced former Roc Nation CEO Brett Yormark as its new commissioner this week. His official start date isn’t until Aug. 1, and man, does he have a massive stack of work waiting for him.
The Big 12 navigated a difficult situation last year with its most influential schools bolting for the SEC by adding college football’s four best Group of 5 candidates to the league. This came after pretty much everyone wrote the Big 12’s obituary last July.
If the league wants to continue to sustain, Yormark might have to make more realignment a priority. The Big 12 won’t be of the caliber of the Big Ten or SEC, but it can solidify itself as the next power conference behind them if it can raid the Pac-12. Considering the Big 12 already has BYU in its footprint, going after Utah makes plenty of sense. So does a reunion with Colorado. Convincing Arizona and Arizona State would also bolster the Big 12’s presence out west.
🎧 New podcast
The voice of OU baseball, Toby Rowland, stops by the podcast to share his experience following one of college baseball's best stories from the radio booth.
Skip Johnson’s Sooners made the Men's College World Series, going all the way to the championship series where they faced Ole Miss. OU fell short in its hunt for a third national title last weekend. Still, the 2022 season remains as enjoyable of an experience for Rowland as any he's had as a broadcaster.
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🔒 4-star LB picks Sooners
Samuel Omosigho, a four-star linebacker prospect from Crandall, Texas, committed to Oklahoma on Thursday.
Omosigho had numerous Power 5 offers and was heavily considering Florida. The 6-foot-1 outside linebacker ultimately couldn’t pass on what the Sooners had to offer.
What Omosigho had to say, via 247Sports.com’s Parker Thune:
“They swept me off my feet with the spiritual aspect, the mental aspect, the athletic aspect. And with Oklahoma being Oklahoma — how good their program is, and a new head coach that has been successful at his [previous] program coming into this new program, making it his own — it’s different.”
OU is up to nine commitments for its 2023 recruiting class, earning five of those verbals in June alone. OU's class currently ranks No. 36 overall in the 247Sports Composite.
🥎 OU lands All-Pac 12 transfer
Former Arizona State infielder Alynah Torres is officially a Sooner, OU softball coach Patty Gasso announced Thursday.
Torres signs with Oklahoma after three seasons with the Sun Devils and has two years of eligibility remaining. This past season, Torres hit .339 and posted 40 RBIs, 16 home runs and 14 doubles for Pac-12 champion Arizona State.
“We are thrilled to add Alynah to our program,” Gasso said in a release. “She brings experience, power and a passion for the game that fits perfectly with the Sooners. I can’t wait to see her in an Oklahoma uniform.”
The All-Pac 12 selection is the second transfer Gasso has taken this offseason, joining former Michigan pitcher Alex Storako.
🏟 Around campus
🏀 Kruger makes Hall of Fame: Former OU men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger was named to the 2022 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Class this week. Kruger becomes the first Sooners coach to earn induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Read more at soonersports.com.
🏀 OU men reportedly add new assistant: OU men’s basketball coach Porter Moser is expected to hire former Notre Dame assistant Ryan Humphrey to his staff, according to SoonerScoop.com. The native Tulsa returns to OU, where his college playing career started in 1997 before transferring to Notre Dame following two seasons in Norman.
🏈 Arnold awarded Elite 11 Finals MVP: Oklahoma’s five-star quarterback commit Jackson Arnold earned MVP honors at the Elite 11 Finals, an annual competition between the country’s best high school quarterbacks. Read more at si.com.
⚾️ OU assistant reportedly leaves for head coaching job: OU baseball’s Clay Van Hook is reportedly headed to Texas-Arlington as the program’s next head coach, according D1Baseball’s Kendall Rogers.