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The University of Illinois will play Oregon and Washington?!



Illinois v Wisconsin Odds
Oct 7, 2017; Columbia, SC, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bret Bielema disputes a call against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Illinois will play Oregon and Washington?!

The conference continues to get weirder. It was weird enough that USC and UCLA will join the Big Ten, however the conference added another pair of west coast schools. The Universities of Oregon and Washington are now slated to join the Big Ten conference. Though the Pac-12 was an odd conference that has fallen through,  the fact that the Big Ten now has 18 schools in it is rather unfathomable. Additionally, the conference has schools on both coasts and schools in the middle.

I think it will take some time getting used to. Washington, Oregon, USC and UCLA are all respectable schools in their own right. Ultimately, I personally think it will be cool to see Illinois play some different opponents and in different settings. I am sure the four former Pac-12 schools all look forward to playing in Minnesota or Evanston in the dead of November.


For Football:

All four schools have respectable football programs. USC has a lot of star power under Lincoln Riley. Oregon brings a different kind of swagger with its Nike gear and brand name hoopla. Washington is generally a top 25 program and has a beautiful campus with passionate fans. UCLA may bring the least in terms of football, however Chip Kelly is a recognizable name. These four schools add a different dimension to a rather plain Big Ten West.

All four schools seem to be offensively driven. This will be a fun contrast to the stout defenses of the Big Ten West including Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.

For Basketball:

This is probably the most exciting part. Washington has been a rather mediocre basketball program the past few years, however, the other three schools are typically locks in the NCAA tournament. UCLA has been one of the best programs in history and in recent years under Mick Cronin. USC has found consistency under Andy Enfield and bring in a load of star power this next year. Oregon has been struggling the past few years, however Dana Altman is a winning coach.

I look forward to the new Big Ten. Even though they really have no association to the Midwest, I do think these four schools bring an interesting and different dynamic to the Big Ten.

Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.