Winners and Losers from the last round of reshuffle

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde decide who the winners and losers were in the latest round of college conference realignment.

Video transcript


AND WETZEL: So I want to go through some schools and let’s talk about winners or losers and to what degree. I took a whole bunch of schools all over the country to all the different conferences.


AND WETZEL: That was– I think this will be one of my best efforts.



AND WETZEL: Winner or loser. USC, are they a winner or are they a loser, Pat?

PAT FORDE: Wow, boy.

AND WETZEL: Not so easy, right?

PAT FORDE: No, it’s not really. It’s not really that easy because– I’ll say they’re winners even though they’re taking a step forward in the competition. And they might have a tougher time even getting into a top three or four Big Ten team that could make a 12-team playoff. But I think this is something that they have a national brand. They looked around, they didn’t think the Pac 12 could help supply them.

The platform, the revenue, the competitiveness they’ve been looking for. They have Lincoln Riley. They are pouring a lot of money into the program. They are ahead of the game in the NIL. They are riding a high right now. So you go ahead and make your bold move and you will make a lot more income. As we’ve said, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll earn more. It doesn’t mean it’s better for your fans. It doesn’t mean it’s better for your athletes. But I think they still have a chance. They’re still USC and I think they can come out of this and be a major player again, even in the Big Ten.

AND WETZEL: I’m going to say winner, but it’s close. will see.

PAT FORDE: Yes, it’s TBD. Because if they end up getting in the teeth and they’re going to go 4 and 8. And they’re going to get off the plane in Madison for a Nov. 23 game up there, and it’s 8 degrees, and your team is not good. You might think it’s not that good.

AND WETZEL: OK. UCLA, winner or loser?

PAT FORDE: Oh, you know, they need more money.


PAT FORDE: They have been in a more difficult financial situation. And I, you know, true or not, there was an obstacle that they could look at cutting programs if they didn’t get a big infusion of money. So this is probably more of a necessary move on their part. And from everything I’ve been told this was USC’s idea and UCLA was either, like, hey– asked by USC, hey, you want to come. Or from the Big Ten, hey, you want to come along. And I think they jumped into it for a revenue perspective.

AND WETZEL: I say winner for the money.


AND WETZEL: ESPN reported or actually the Los Angeles Times reported, $102.8 million in three-year debt in the athletic department. I think for UCLA it adds a shot of energy to the program that it desperately needed.


AND WETZEL: UCLA I’m going with the winner. Oregon Ducks, winner, loser?

PAT FORDE: Failed. I still think this could work for them. But they would like to get into the Big Ten. The Big Ten is definitely like, you’re on the list of maybe now at best. So they’ve been – they’re not going to go where they want to go. I still think it could work for them now to like the Pac 10 setup. The question is, what is your playoff access from there? If there’s playoff access, you might be okay with that. But I mean, that’s– they’ve built a brand. A very attractive brand. Did they need USC and UCLA to help that brand? I do not know.

AND WETZEL: I think it actually hurts more than — like, if they’re in this Pac 10, what are the exciting games?

PAT FORDE: Yes, right.

AND WETZEL: Like, OK, you can win this thing, but what game are you making that’s like, oh, man. Or how they should pump that non-conference. Like you’re going to be great if you play– If this is– if this is your schedule and you lose the USC game. Even just the perception of those games.


AND WETZEL: And then at the same time USC and UCLA are hey, Ohio State is here, Michigan is here. Like Penn State is here, and the stadiums are full, and everybody’s talking about the game, and you know, it’s a big deal. So, TBD. I do not know. I think it’s a– I think it’s negative. I think I’d be a loser, but if there’s anyone who can prove me wrong on that one, it’s probably Oregon.


AND WETZEL: All right, Ohio State Buckeyes, winners or losers on this one?

PAT FORDE: The winners. The winners. Co-recruit California even more. Get even more money in your coffers. I mean, recession proof Ohio State. It can’t be destroyed unless they somehow hire a terrible coach. We have seen that there have been scandals. They didn’t bother Ohio State. Leave it alone. Bring in the other guy, win 12 games. So it just helps you in ways where, you know, I mean, if you just have a little bit more recruiting reach like you need to, you’re good. Ohio State’s perennial winner and certainly a winner on this occasion.

AND WETZEL: Agreed. All right, Clemson. Say Clemson isn’t involved. Oh, they’re always involved.

PAT FORDE: Oh yes.

AND WETZEL: Winner or loser, Clemson? And you want me to start?


AND WETZEL: I will start.

PAT FORDE: Go ahead. It gives me the tendency.



AND WETZEL: Not huge, but losers because the Big Ten schools will make a ton of money here even more than they would. And all the reasons we were talking about are– they’re going to have one, Clemson football is definitely one of the top five programs in the country and Indiana football is undeniable. And Indiana will make $50 million more than you. All of them are. Rutgers, Merrill, they’re all making way more money than you and that’s not good.

The closer that gap the better for Clemson. Now, can Clemson overcome that? Are they going to be a better program than Indiana, and Michigan State and all that? Yes maybe. But that doesn’t help.

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