“Bigger Ten” is a column by Campbell Donovan about USC’s impending move to the Big Ten.
USC football is almost back! In about nine weeks, the Coliseum will be crowded with thousands of Trojan fans as the team begins its final bid at the Pac-12 Championship title.
After this season, a championship will be a much more ambitious quest, as the Trojans will be joining one of the nation’s top athletic conferences: the Big Ten.
The news that USC and crosstown rival UCLA will be entering the competitive league first broke headlines on June 30, 2022 — almost one year ago. Since then, football fans across the nation have anxiously awaited what this will mean for the future of college football.
Although much is still unknown, the first glimpse of the nuanced league has arrived as USC’s Big Ten opponents for the 2024 and 2025 seasons were released.
In 2024, the Trojans will host Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. On the road, they’ll face Maryland, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue and UCLA.
Michigan has emerged as one of the top football programs in the nation, especially after claiming the Big Ten title in 2022 and snagging the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff. In 2024, the Wolverines’ star quarterback J.J. McCarthy will be in his final year of eligibility
In 2025, Indiana, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State and UCLA will head to the Coliseum to take on the Trojans. USC has a chilly away schedule brewing, with the plan to face Minnesota, Ohio State, Rutgers and Wisconsin.
Although Michigan is often regarded as the best in the league right now, there are many other powerhouses within the Big Ten. Ohio State is considered a top 10 football school in the nation. The Buckeyes’ spring game highlighted their new QB1, junior Kyle McCord, along with their consistent powerhouse offense. Penn State is another university that prides itself off of its football program. Head coach James Franklin leads the team, along with sophomore linebacker Abdul Carter, sophomore running back Nick Singleton and sophomore running back Kaytron Allen.
With the release of their 2024 and 2025 competition, USC football’s once distant future is feeling much more realistic. Performance expectations will be raised next year, so this upcoming season is an essential transition year.