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USC, UCLA on the move to the Big Ten

The move is a crushing blow to the Pac-12 and further separates the Big Ten and SEC from the rest of college athletics.

USC and UCLA are closing in on a move to the Big Ten, according to a report Thursday from Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News. Wilner covers the Pac-12 as closely as anyone.

If completed, the move would be the closest thing the Big Ten could do to match the SEC's annexation of Texas and Oklahoma -- and be as equally devastating to the Pac-12 as the SEC's move was to the Big 12. 

The Pac-12 formed "The Alliance" to unite against the SEC's newly acquired power, but it appears that alliance was stronger on the Pac-12's end than the Big Ten.

Adding USC and UCLA would make the Big Ten the closest thing to a national conference, stretching from New York and Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, with the national reach of programs like Michigan, Oklahoma and Penn State stretching border to border and coast to coast.

Needless to say, losing USC and UCLA would be a move from which the Pac-12 could not recover. The Big Ten is in the process of negotiating its next round of TV contracts, deals that were already expected to bring the league $1 billion per year before potentially adding USC and UCLA. Meanwhile, the Pac-12 is in line to negotiate after the Big Ten (its rights expire in 2024), and could be forced to sit at the table without its two biggest brands, that happen to occupy the nation's No. 2 media market. 

The Pac-12 sitting down at the negotiating table without USC and UCLA would be akin to showing up at an Old West shootout with no guns and no hands. 

Stay tuned to The Scoop as this story develops. 

Update: The news is now official.