Bret Bielema praises benefits of B1G adding USC, UCLA to conference
One of the big stories around the country this offseason was the decision of USC and UCLA to bolt the Pac-12. Beginning in 2024, the Trojans and Bruins will play in the B1G, bringing a pair of marquee brands from the west coast to the conference.
On Monday, Illinois head coach Bret Bielema addressed those additions as the Illini open fall camp. The first thing he thought of was every B1G player getting a guaranteed chance to play in the Rose Bowl.
“For me, it immediately went to having a guaranteed opportunity that every kid’s going to get a chance to play in the Rose Bowl,” said Bielema in an interview with Andy Olson of WCIA3 News. “That is really special and unique.”
Bielema also sees a recruiting window opening for Illinois on the west coast and believes it is “shortsighted” to believe this will be the final move during the ongoing realignment saga.
“I think it opens up a recruiting window, but more of the what could possibly come down,” said Bielema. “The idea that it’s going to stop (with USC and UCLA’s move) would be shortsighted by a lot of people…I do know the addition of those two brings the brand of B1G football to a higher level.”
Today was the first time we’ve been able to speak with Bret Bielema since USC and UCLA were added to the Big Ten. For the #Illini coach, expanded recruiting opportunities on the West Coast is what he’s excited about.
“I think it opens up a recruiting window.” pic.twitter.com/oo9kuFK5CB
— Andy Olson (@WCIA3Andy) July 25, 2022