Michigan State and the University of Michigan will be playing more west coast teams in the future.
Other college sports conferences have added schools in recent years to make themselves more competitive. The Big Ten is effectively adding another entire conference.
The Big Ten says it is expanding its partnership with the Pac 12. The Pac 12 is mainly composed of west coast schools.
The two 12 member conferences say they’ll play each other more in football, basketball and other sports. The deal will also allow both to expand their respective cable sports channels.
“I think what it allows us to do is extend our reach to become more national, while also maintaining the essence of the competition we have within our own region," says Jim Delany, the Big Ten commissioner.
The move could position both the Big Ten and Pac 12 to better compete for lucrative TV and other advertising deals.
“Because we are in a particularly creative period," says Delany, "As you can judge how institutions are trying to reposition themselves ….puts us in a good place to explore all of that.”
The Pac 12 commissioner says the deal offers many of the benefits of expanding the two conferences without the difficulties of a merger.