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Big 12 Reportedly after 1–3 More Schools Along with Colorado

The league wants to get to 14 or 16 teams.



[Liz Parke/Big 12]

It doesn’t appear as if Brett Yormark is done.

Yormark officially swiped Colorado back from the Pac-12 on Thursday, but according to Brett McMurphy (another Brett who has been killing it on the realignment trail), the Big 12 wants one to three more schools to fill out its ranks, hoping to land on an even number entering the 2024 season when Colorado is set to join the league.

McMurphy said Arizona is the most likely Pac-12 school to join the Big 12 at this point, but he also mentioned Arizona State, Utah, Oregon, Washington, UConn, Memphis, San Diego State, UNLV and SMU in his piece. Adding other Pac-12 schools is the priority, according to McMurphy, but if the Big 12 can’t do that, it’ll look at Group of Five options.

There has been a ton of talk of the “Four Corner” schools (Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah) in this round of realignment. With Yormark and the Big 12 securing one of those, we’ll now wait to see if Colorado’s move causes any panic elsewhere in the Pac-12 as the league is still in search of a TV deal. Oregon and Washington would be the biggest brands, but those schools have had somewhat recent links to the Big Ten.

Adding further Pac-12 schools is good for a variety of reasons outside the obvious of those schools having bigger brands than their Group of Five counterparts.

To start, the Pac-12’s media rights deal ends after this school year meaning for a Pac-12 school to join the Big 12 in 2024, it wouldn’t have to pay an exit fee. That’s not the case for the Mountain West or American conference, as the league/school would have to pay a steep fee to get out of the deal.

Another part of the Pac-12 to Big 12 move comes in money for the would-be Pac-12 school. Should a Power Five school join the Big 12, ESPN and FOX would give that school the full revenue share. McMurphy does a better job of explaining it here:

“This guarantees Colorado — and any other Power 5 schools moving to the Big 12 — a full media rights share of nearly $32 million in the Big 12 starting in 2025, sources said. However, any Group of Five additions would not receive a full $31.7 million share, sources said.”


So, the Big 12 is again being an aggressor in the conference realignment space after starting this whole saga on the backfoot by losing Oklahoma and Texas. The Big 12 expanding to at least 14 schools seems like it’s only a matter of time.

Read McMurphy’s full report here

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