I think the Big Ten adds Washington and Oregon. Add some insurance to keep USC and UCLA. Travel partners.
I have no sources or facts. Just wild speculation. Thats how I roll.
Being a Gopher fan living near Seattle, I want Washington to join the B1G. However, I think they take a Bay Area school first to nab the sixth largest media market, and the first choice is most likely Stanford. Ranked 4th academics and seems more committed to sports than Cal.
Then they add Washington for the 12th media market, large public school (50,000) and rank 54 in academics and have a huge commitment to sports.
Then it comes down to how many West Coast teams does the Big Ten want to have? If it’s 5, then both Cal and Oregon get in. If it’s 4, then a choice needs to be made.
Do they take Cal to solidify the Bay Area market, or do they take Oregon to get into the 21st largest media market and also not leave Washington to be the school with the furthest travel needs of any B1G school.
The knock on Oregon is they don’t quite fit the Big Ten profile. Portland is the 21st media market, Oregon is a very small public school (about 20,000 total enrollment), and rank 105 for academics (US News). If it wasn’t for Phil Knight money, they’d still be considered at the same level as Washington State and Oregon State.
The knock on Cal is they seem to support their Olympic sports more than football or basketball.