Conference realignment has taken over college sports throughout the last handful of years. We’ve seen notable rivals join forces to make the jump to new leagues over each of the last few offseasons.
In an even more surprising move last year, we saw USC and UCLA announce their intention to join the Big Ten. The move to the Midwest helped the B1G secure a massive new media rights deal as it now owns the Los Angeles market.
The ACC is seeing issues with its current media rights agreement, which runs through 2036. Top dogs Clemson and FSU led a charge to renegotiate the league’s revenue distribution model, believing that the top performers should be paid more handsomely than other members.
Following a brief threat of departure, the conference caved to the demands.
The Big XII responded to its losses of OU and Texas with the additions of Cincinnati, BYU, UCF, and Houston. Some believed there could be a shift away from football, with a larger emphasis being placed on basketball in future expansion talks. The league was reportedly looking at teams like Gonzaga and national champion UCONN as potential additions.
A recent report, however, hints that the Big XII could soon land the best of both worlds, and at the expense of the collapsing PAC 12.
Radio host Greg Swaim, who follows the conference closely, reports that a deal is in place to land Colorado and Arizona.
BREAKING: Nothing becomes official until the #Pac12 gets their TV deal finalized, but now multiple sources tell us tonight that the #Buffs and #BearDown will move to the #Big12. No word on the #Utes and #SunDevils, but Yormark may just take two and save some spots for #ACC teams.
— SWAIM SHOW (@GSwaim) June 4, 2023
Deion Sanders and Colorado have long been a target for the Big XII in conference expansion as they look to lure the Buffs back following a brief breakup.
Arizona, though, is a bit more of shocking.
The Wildcats have been in the PAC-12 since the late 1970s, joining at the same time as in-state foe Arizona State. The additions could give the league 14 teams, and they may not be stopping there.
Swaim hints that a 20-team mega-conference is on the horizon, which will stretch from coast to coast.
“There was an informal meeting with Big12 execs [in May] and the BIG PLAN is for twenty teams with four West of the Rockies and four in the EST time zone,” Swaim wrote on his Twitter account. “Told ‘A lot will happen in June.'”
If true, it could be an exciting summer in the Big XII and college sports.