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Report: Big 12 No Longer Interested in Merger with Pac-12

The Pac-12 is running out of options.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

It appears the Big 12 has decided it doesn’t need the Pac-12 nearly as much as the Pac-12 needs it.

After two weeks of talks about a partnership between the two conferences, the Big 12 told the Pac-12 it is no longer interested in exploring some sort of merger, according to Pete Thamel. And, according to Thamel, the Big 12 has continued to monitor the potential of adding Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado from the Pac-12.

The Pac-12 reportedly laid out three plans of uniting with the Big 12, according to Thamel.

  1. Pooling rights
  2. A scheduling concept
  3. Fully combining the leagues

Of those, Thamel reports the Big 12 was most interested in a full-scale merger, but after thinking it over, the Big 12 decided against it.

Like most things in conference realignment, it comes down to pie splitting. A full-scale merger would, at this point, mean splitting the pie 22 different ways. If the Big 12 were to just nab Colorado, Utah, Arizona State and Arizona, that pie would split only 16 ways. New Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark declaring the league is “open for business” last week also makes it seem as if the Big 12 is trying to be aggressive in this round of realignment.

The Pac-12 seems to be in a full scramble since it came out that USC and UCLA were jumping to the Big Ten. Reports had already came out that the Pac-12 was exploring scheduling arrangements with the ACC. After these talks with the Big 12 seemed to have fallen through, it’s a wonder where the Pac-12 goes from here.

It’s survival of the fittest, and — for now — the Big 12 seems to be more fit than its neighbor to the West.


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