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Colorado Reportedly in Serious Talks to Possibly Rejoin Big 12, Deion Sanders’ Support Could be Key

Former Big 12 member … to current Big 12 member?



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Former Big 12 member Colorado may soon be current Big 12 member Colorado if realignment’s latest round of madness strikes Pac-12 land soon. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported Tuesday that the Buffaloes’ brass has been in “substantive talks” with the Big 12 about possibly joining the league, a reunion that would end a more than a decade-long partnership with the Pac-12, the league it joined after leaving the Big 12 in 2011.

Here’s Dodd with the scoop:

With the latest round of realignment having slowed to a crawl after a tumultuous two years, it appears as it may be close to picking up steam again. Colorado has been in “substantive” talks with the Big 12 about possibly joining the growing league, a source with knowledge of the discussions tells CBS Sports.

While a move out of the Pac-12 is not assured, Colorado is performing due diligence to determine whether to return to the conference it once called home. The Buffaloes, like the rest of the Pac-12, remain in wait-and-see mode regarding a new media rights deal that has yet to be solidified.

Colorado and the Big 12 have met face-to-face while involved in consistent talks over a period several months, according to multiple sources. It was made clear that a move to the Big 12 would not be made without the support of football coach Deion Sanders.

Oklahoma treasure Berry Tramel last week seemed to be the first on the potential swing in momentum indicating Colorado’s interest in finding footing with its old league. Tramel in The Oklahoman reported that a Big 12 source told him earlier in May that “Colorado is ready to commit to joining the Big 12 “soon.”

Colorado’s newfound interest in the Big 12 comes as the Pac-12’s imminent future becomes increasingly murky with stalled talks on a new television partner and with UCLA and USC leaving for the Big Ten.

Since OU and Texas announced their intentions to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, new Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark has done an admirable job making lemonade out of lemons to salvage and sustain the health of the league both short and long term. Those moves have come largely in the form of growth — with UCF, Cincinnati, Houston and BYU joining soon — but also with a new TV deal and some certainty that comes with that.

With the Big 12 striking a TV deal before the Pac-12, it seems to have mounted increasing pressure on the league and its members to find financial security — and soon. Each day that passes is another of uncertainty.

Colorado was previously in the Big 12 (which was previously the Big 8, which was previously the Big 7) dating all the way back to the 1940s before leaving for the Pac-12 — and what was believed to be a more stable financial future and better geographic partnership — in 2011. The school has faded in relevance over the last decade, though, and with Coach Prime now in charge of the football program and the school committed to investing its resources to once again becoming a nationally-relevant brand, now may be as good a time as ever to make the move and return home.

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