Big-12 Looking to Absorb 6 Pac-12 Teams

With the defection of conference anchors USC and UCLA to the Big Ten Conference last week, the remaining Pac-12 teams are in talks to join the Big 12 Conference.

Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Utah are all in discussions to make the Big 12 an 18-team league — the largest in FBS Division I.

pac-12A recent report from CBS Sports broke down the potential move that will shake up the college football alignment. Below is an excerpt from that CBS Sports article.

A merger of the Big 12 and Pac-12, in some form, is also a possibility.

“Everything is on the table,” said one Big 12 source.

There is “no question” the Big 12 has to be aggressive in expansion, another conference source said.

Despite the Big 12’s attempts, the Pac-12 released a statement Monday saying it would immediately begin negotiations on its next TV contract, intending to go forward with at least its 10 remaining members. There is a possibility more could be added to the mix, according to a Pac-12 source. The Pac-12’s current deal expires in 2024.

However, a source familiar with the negotiations said that doesn’t necessarily mean the Pac-12 will all be together “in three months.”

The Pac-12 is expected to enter into an exclusive 30-day negotiating window with current rightsholders Fox and ESPN before entertaining offers from other bidders.

Before the Pac-12’s statement Monday, one industry source suggested the Big 12 should quickly expand with Pac-12 teams then go to market early with rightsholders to get ahead of the Pac-12. The Pac-12 deal with Fox and ESPN expires in 2024. The Big 12’s deal with the same networks expires in 2025.

» ALSO SEE: USC, UCLA to Leave Pac-12 for Big Ten in 2024

“All those things have been talked about,” a Big 12 source said.

Adding at least those four schools would extend the Big 12 further into the Mountain Time Zone, creating “travel partners” for incoming member BYU while also adding a rival for the Cougars in the Utes. The Arizona schools are two hours apart and feature Phoenix as a major market acquisition for the conference.

To read the full story from CBS Sports on the Big 12 potentially expanding to 18 teams, click here.