Big 12 expansion news: Pac-12’s Arizona, ASU, Colorado, Utah contacted amid potential conference realignment
Big 12 was in contact with Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah of Pac-12 amid another possible conference expansion round, CBS Sports confirmed. This spring represents the last school year for the Big 12 of 10 teams before BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF arrive for the 2023-24 school year; Texas and Oklahoma will leave on July 1, 2024, by which time the league should be downsized from 14 teams to 12 teams.
If schools in Arizona, Colorado, and Utah join the Big 12, there will be 16 teams in the conference, the same number as in future Big Ten and SEC mega conferences. Meanwhile, Pac-12 will be reduced to six schools, with USC and UCLA due to join the Big Ten in 2024. In this scenario, the Pac-12 will be brought to California, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon, Washington, and Washington DC. State.
The overhaul chatter is perhaps the strongest around the Pac-12 right now. League commissioner George Klyavkov has yet to broker a new media rights deal for Pac-12 as the current deal expires in 2024.
It was already reported last summer that the Big 12 were interested in adding any additional Pac-12 defectors, and those conversations have not gone away. Baylor Athletic Director Mac Rhodes has repeatedly told 365 Sports over the past 10 days that the Big 12 will be active if talks with the Pac-12 media stall and schools want to move.
“Those who want to believe that we are trying to take apart the Pac-12 can believe it” Rhodes stated this in a recent interview with 365 Sports.. “But that’s not what we’re trying to do. But we’re also going to be ready. And shame on us – we wouldn’t be doing our job if we weren’t ready, if we had the opportunity.”
At the same time, Pac-12 may remove a key member of Mountain West if the league survives and add new members to increase its value. The state of San Diego is reportedly one of the main targets for the Pac-12 if it takes the expansion route. since SDSU will allow Pac-12 to still have a member in Southern California, even if not in the Los Angeles media market. SMU, a member of the American Athletic Conference, is a different school.
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However, Pac-12 isn’t the only conference fraught with uncertainty about what the future will look like. The athletic directors of Clemson and FSU have recently raised concerns about the prospects for the Atlantic Coast Conference. — the league’s exclusivity agreement with ESPN does not exceed ten years — and suggested changes would be needed to enable their respective institutions to compete at a high level.
Dean Straka contributed to this report.