The B2G: What happens if/when the B1G adds the Pacific North West Schools?

Adding Oregon and Washington feels inevitable.

Adding Stanford and Cal… that’s the surprise.

It always starts with money.

Let’s say the average media payout per B1G team is 70 million per year. I think that’s a little low, but that is a very reported/assumed number. 

Will FOX, CBS, and NBC agree to pay a combined extra 280 million per year to add those 4 schools to the Big Ten (ignoring inventory for now)?

Not a chance.

What about half share for each – 35 million per school per year, 140 million total?

Now we can have a discussion. This is likely where the conversation starts with money.

It’s what Rutgers and Maryland did when they entered the B1G. They took half shares each for their first media deal.

Is a half share enough for those 4 schools?


It’s kinda that simple, but I’ll give you a list to make it clear. And remember, I think we are low balling the numbers a bit.

  • 35 million is more than the rumored 20 million base the Pac-12 is offered by Apple
  • 35 million is more than the 31.7 million the Big 12 is locked in for through 2030
  • They would be rejoining a conference with USC and UCLA
  • They would be joining the strongest remaining academic conference
  • They would be on broadcast television (probably).
  • They wouldn’t be on Apple with the Pac-12 or ESPN+ with the Big 12

Hold Up – Why did you say probably, and what does ESPN+ have to do with the Big 12?

Part of the Big 12 deal has games on ESPN+. At least one a week, but likely more.

I’ll get to what I meant by probably, but consider this. Every B1G team plays a minimum of 2 games on the Big Ten Network. And, Peacock has 8 exclusive games every year of the deal. NBC has already shown they are willing to put big games on Peacock

More teams = Better games = More money

What else equals more money?


Adding 4 schools is adding 4 schools worth of home games. And I guarantee that the extra inventory isn’t all going to the Big Ten Network.

There would be an additional 18 conference games and an avg of 8 extra non-con home games per year. (This assumes the B1G still plays 9 conference games).

Take away 6 that have to be on BTN, and that’s an average of 20 extra home games each year that need a way to be shown to audiences.

The B1G Media Deal would need to be amended. 

Option A: The current partners show more games

That means more games on FS1, FOX, NBC, and CBS. Especially considering FOX will have open slots they used to put Pac-12 games. 

The easiest solution – put more Friday night games on FS1. That’s about 5 games possible there, based on FS1’s other commitments.

Also, expect more Sunday and Monday games on Labor Day weekend. Along with a full Friday slate on Black Friday. These ideas likely add games to CBS and NBC. Maybe 3-5 more games

Then there is the coveted 4th TV Window – 10:30 PM EST

FOX traditionally shows 4th window games on FS1 every week, but will occasionally make an exception and put some on FOX if the game is big enough. FS1 will have a hole to fill because it is currently using the Pac-12 to fill some of its 10:30 PM slots.

This adds another 5ish games.

There won’t need to be a late window game every week, FS1 also shows MWC games late at night and will have access to the 4th window for ASU and Arizona via the Big 12.

Everything above is 13-15 games added, the rest (5-7) would probably hit BTN or Peacock.

Option B: A 4th Media Partner

There are 2 players here, Amazon and ESPN


This is wild speculation, but they have a lot of money to throw around. They have also shown an interest in football with their Thursday Night NFL deal.

If this happens, I would expect a weekly Friday Night Game on Amazon. This wouldn’t be a 1st tier game, but it would also be better than most of the BTN lineup. They would probably pay enough that Oregon, Washington, Stanford, and Cal could come in with full media shares.

This would be a 13-14 game package that would replace most of what was in Option A.


The Big Ten breaks up with ESPN, only to go right back 1 year later. 

This is the best idea ever in my mind. Right now, ESPN owns the playoff, literally. If you want ESPN to promote your teams while they discuss the playoff, you need to be on ESPN.

ESPN would have a hole to fill. Pac-12 After Dark is no more, and ESPN has had the most success showing games in the 4th TV window. Requiring all 6 west coast teams to host 2 late window games takes up 12 of the 20 new games. And Eh, maybe Cal and Stanford host 3 late window games.

The B1G schedule would be:

FOX @ Noon

CBS @ 3:30

NBC @ 7:30

ESPN @ 10:30

B1G all day, on every major network.

What about a 20 team schedule?

This topic will justify its own article if the B2G actually happens.

But the framework to start with is fairly straightforward. Start with a 4 5-5-5 4 protected (keep the west coast together and the east coast together), and play the other 15 schools once in 3 years, twice in 6 years. 

If you don’t want to protect 4 schools (Penn State, Nebraska, etc) just have a rotation that cycles a little more often.  

The #1 fear: Don’t have 3 undefeated teams at the end of the year. 

If it looks like this is going to happen, 10 conference games may be necessary. Or have a conference title playoff with 4 teams (the season would need to start 1 week earlier). Or have an incentive structure where the tiebreaker goes to the team with the stronger non-con schedule. 

It’s messy, but it’s workable.

Is the B2G actually happening?

Eventually, yes.

In 2024, it’s pretty unlikely.

Stanford and Cal aren’t guaranteed a seat at the table. 

Oregon and Washington are basically members in waiting as far as I’m concerned.

An 18 team B1G is much more possible for 2024, albeit only if the Pac-12 is dead and Oregon and Washington ask politely.

Right now we just have to wait and see if the Pac-12 can hold itself together.

Want more Walk On Fan? Check out this piece about which P5 member would be shown the door first when conferences decide to contract, instead of expand. 

This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene.

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