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Oregon, Washington on verge of joining Big Ten, leaving Pac-12 in 2024, per reports

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Oregon and Washington appear on the verge of joining the Big Ten. The programs, both charter members of the Pac-12 dating back to 1915, informed Pac-12 presidents Friday that they plan to accept an invitation from the Big Ten once extended, according to Yahoo Sports. The Big Ten is preparing to make those formal offers later Friday, according to multiple reports.

Oregon and Washington would be the third and fourth Pac-12 schools joining the Big Ten ahead of the 2024-25 season with USC and UCLA previously announcing their planned departures last summer. The Big Ten would then stand as an 18-team conference, the largest in college football history.

Once the departures of the Ducks and Huskies are finalized, five schools will have left the Pac-12 in the last 13 months as Colorado last week moved to the Big 12. Arizona, Arizona State and Utah remain in the middle of conversations about similar moves to the Big 12. Further departures might be a death knell for the Pac-12 as a whole.

Momentum appeared headed in the direction of the Oregon and Washington departing for the Big Ten over the last couple of days, though a last-ditch effort was made Friday morning by the Pac-12 to keep the programs in the league, sources told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd. That made their futures a "coin toss" for a while, largely due to financial concerns over additional travel costs the programs would incur by journeying to Big Ten locations. Washington in particular was concerned those increased financial obligations could total more than $10 million per year for the university, sources said.

It is not believed Oregon and Washington will receive full $60 million media rights revenue shares from the Big Ten to change conferences. The AP reported late Thursday the programs were offered $30 million to $35 million annually. Such a steep addition to their expenses would significantly reduce one of the benefits of moving leagues.

For example, if the Big Ten is promising $30 million per year to Oregon and Washington -- only half of what other Big Ten teams are receiving from their new media rights deal -- the Ducks and Huskies subtracting $10 million each for additional travel would put their net revenue at $20 million. That is essentially the same number presented earlier this week when Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff divulged the streaming-centric Apple agreement.

What will happen to the Pac-12?

Pac-12 presidents met Friday morning. There was a grant of rights contract presented to the universities in hopes of securing a new media deal that could keep the conference together in some form, though nothing was signed, according to multiple reports.

Friday's Pac-12 session came on the heels of an Arizona Board of Regents meeting held Thursday before which Arizona was in deep discussions about following Colorado to the Big 12, sources told CBS Sports.

The Apple media rights package presented to Pac-12 members this week reportedly includes tiers of incentives with a significant upside for teams if certain different levels of subscription numbers are met.

Pac-12 financial projections emerging from the meeting are believed to start around $20 million per school annually. By contrast, Big 12 schools are set to receive nearly $32 million annually through their new media rights agreement with ESPN and Fox.

The Big 12 has also been in pursuit of Arizona State and Utah out of the Pac-12.

There is substantial sentiment within the Arizona and Arizona State athletic departments that a conference sever between the programs is both undesired and unlikely, sources told CBS Sports' Matt Norlander on Thursday night. The Wildcats leaving Sun Devils behind in the Pac-12 "would be extremely surprising," one high-ranking source said.

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark has long preferred to expand to 14 teams but was willing to move to 16 teams as the league had secured pro rata (equal value) shares so long as it adds Power Five programs to the conference.

Should the Big 12 be unable to acquire Arizona (its primary target), Arizona State and/or Utah, the conference may turn its focus to UConn as a top Group of Five option due to its stellar basketball program, sources previously told CBS Sports.

Should Arizona, Arizona State and Utah all depart for the Big 12, the Pac-12 would be on its last legs with California, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington the only remaining members. At that point, a merger of sorts with the Mountain West -- for two or perhaps all four programs -- and/or potential independence would likely be the only remaining options.

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