Oregon and Washington Added To BIG10 | How It Impacts OSU Football

August 15, 2023

Andy Billman Tony Camino

Andy Billman and Tony Camino Discuss Recent Schools Added

1 – Do the additions of Oregon and Washington help the conference and, in turn, help Ohio State?

Andy B:

The simple answer is yes overall for the Big Ten conference and Buckeye’s football. Adding two schools with a good track record of winning, along with the influence of Washington being in Seattle and Oregon having the Nike/Phil Knight machine behind them alone, are positives. From the conference standpoint, better competition always makes for better results in the long run, and adding the influences of Washington and Oregon is enormous. The Big Ten is in an arms race with the SEC, especially regarding TV/streaming contracts. The West Coast additions make the Big Ten more valuable regarding contracts. More money into the programs will only help with opportunities for national championships and maybe someday overtaking the SEC.

Regarding the conference, it is great to have additional west coast schools to help with USC and UCLA logistically. This will also help in recruiting. More exposure from coast to coast is not just a television play but a massive win for recruiting—enticing athletes to play in a conference that stretches across the country. From Los Angeles to Washington DC, athletes, fans, and business communities will be watching the Big Ten.

For Ohio State football, it is just new opportunities and more exposure to get athletes in from coast to coast, which they already do successfully. The new schools on the west coast will only enhance what they can already do. From the competition standpoint, playing UCLA, USC, Washington, and Oregon every so often will help improve the team to win a possible national championship.

Tony C:

Adding Washington and Oregon into the mix is a real win-win for the Big Ten and Ohio State. Oregon has been killing it in the Pac-12 for years, and Washington has also been on the upswing, grabbing four division titles since 2016 and even making a playoff appearance.

Just like Andy pointed out, stretching the conference all the way to the west coast is a smart move to give the SEC a run for its money in terms of nationwide popularity. We all know how crazy successful and hyped the SEC schools are, but having big names from the Pac-12 and Big Ten on board evens out the playing field, almost like a 1a and 1b situation.

Talking competition, throwing more top contenders into the conference mix, and ditching the whole division setup is going to shake things up. Back in the day, having the powerhouse teams stuck in the same division sometimes made the conference title game feel a bit lopsided. But now, every year, we’re looking at five to seven schools that could seriously gun for that championship game. Sure, Ohio State might rack up a few more Ls with more challenging games, but if they start owning those matchups, it’s a solid argument for the committee – even if they stumble once or twice (remember 2022?).

2 – Should the Big Ten add more schools? Why or why not?

Tony C:

The Big Ten should definitely add more schools, but they shouldn’t just settle for average programs. The whole college football landscape seems to be pointing towards a future with two mega conferences that pack all the powerhouse teams. Schools like Florida State, Clemson, and Utah are the kind of heavy hitters the Big Ten should be gunning for. Going with mid-level programs would just muddy the waters and not really ramp up the competition on a week-to-week basis, which, in my book, is the real goldmine of conference reshuffling.

Sure, mixing up all these top-notch programs from around the country will mess with some of those cherished college football traditions. But think about it – the quality of games we’ll be getting every single week would be off the charts. We shouldn’t be getting used to seeing the big-name schools steamrolling the competition by 20 points or more in conference games. The goal should be setting up as many nail-biting matchups between the best of the best as possible. I get that the current setup adds a ton of weight to each regular season game, and that’s Awesome but personally, I’d much rather have those heart-pounding clashes between ranked teams than sitting through a game that’s pretty much wrapped up by the third quarter. The rare top-tier college football showdowns? Unbeatable. It’s just that they’re so infrequent, and it’d be a huge boost for the sport to have those classic battles on a more regular basis.

Andy B:

Yes, they should, and not just California and Stanford. Adding Washington State and Oregon State would be worth their while. Even if they cannot do it right away because of contracts and money flow, I would offer the opportunity to join the conference as they could become the first super conference, which is where all of this is heading anyways, so the Big Ten might as well get ahead of it. Adding these schools accomplishes two tasks. One, and most important, the conference can make a super television/video package that no one can match. They can have games all day, throughout the country, starting every hour, or do what the NFL does and have games kickoff starting at noon, 3:30, with primetime evening games at 8:00 and 10:00 eastern, and having games throughout the week. Around the clock, Big Ten football throughout the fall, which could be a massive windfall of money The Big Ten could do what the Big East did in basketball back in the 1980s, become the conference to watch because of the access to games, and, dare even say it, surpass the SEC.

Will this help the Big Ten close the gap with the SEC or may even surpass them when it comes to winning national championships?

Andy B:

So to pick up on that point, with the addition of Oregon and Washington along with the LA schools, the SEC is still King of the Castle. Over time, adding these schools will start to close the gap. Will they overtake the SEC for talent and prestige in the next season or two? No. Not possible in the short term as the SEC is a machine, but give it time, and I can see the gap closing. Most importantly, they will be comparable in certain seasons, which is a huge win.

Tony C:

Absolutely, bringing in more powerhouse programs is a smart move to narrow down the championship gap between conferences. Right now, you’ve got the SEC boasting 30 national titles, while the Big Ten isn’t too far behind with 25. The way things are shaping up with all these realignments, it’s looking like the Big Ten and SEC will pretty much corner the market on title contenders. So, the Big Ten has a shot at closing that gap, and then, in all likelihood, these two conferences will pull even further ahead from the rest of the pack. Realistically, now, it might be a bit of a stretch to see the Big Ten leapfrogging the SEC anytime soon. But who’s to say what could happen in the next 15 or 20 years? If things continue moving in this direction and the stars align, that possibility doesn’t sound too far-fetched. It’s a long game, but if the trends keep up, we could be in for a seriously exciting showdown.

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