Arizona State, Arizona, Utah Leaving Pac-12 for Big 12; Oregon, Washington Join Big Ten

by Riley Overend 55

August 05th, 2023 Big 12, Big Ten, College, News, Pac-12

It didn’t take long for Pac-12 members to make moves after the “Conference of Champions” failed to get a Grant of Rights signed during a meeting with university presidents on Friday morning.

The Big Ten approved of Oregon and Washington’s arrival for the 2024-25 academic year, joining fellow Pac-12 defectors USC and UCLA.

Then three more Pac-12 schools bolted for the Big 12, according to Action Network. Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah are expected to be approved as Big 12 members on Friday night, following in the footsteps of Colorado.

The Big 12 will become the third conference with at least 16 members along with the SEC and Big Ten. The Big 12 has long been the smallest Power Five conference for swimming with just three men’s teams last season, but they’ll have five men’s teams next season and at least seven the year after that.

That leaves the Pac-12 with just four schools remaining as members: Cal, Stanford, Oregon State, and Washington State. Two of them — Cal and Stanford — are reportedly being courted by the Big Ten. The other alternatives appear to be a merger with the Mountain West or the independent route. The chances of the Pac-12 rebuilding in time for the 2024 season are slim considering the timing and exit fees associated with other conferences.

Big Ten Membership in 2024

  • Illinois*
  • Indiana†*
  • Iowa*
  • Maryland
  • Michigan†*
  • Michigan State
  • Minnesota†*
  • Nebraska*
  • Northwestern†*
  • Ohio State†*
  • Oregon
  • Penn State†*
  • Purdue†*
  • Rutgers*
  • USC†*
  • UCLA*
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin*

* – sponsors women’s swimming (14 schools)

† – sponsors men’s swimming (9 schools)

Big 12 Membership in 2024

  • Arizona †*
  • Arizona State †*
  • Baylor
  • BYU †*
  • Cincinnati †*
  • Colorado
  • Houston *
  • Iowa State *
  • Kansas *
  • Kansas State
  • Oklahoma State
  • TCU *
  • Texas Tech
  • UCF
  • Utah *
  • West Virginia *

* – sponsors women’s swimming (10 schools)

† – sponsors men’s swimming (7 schools)

Starting in 2024, we could see a fairly even power balance in swimming between the new Big Four athletic conferences — the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, and Big 12. While the Big 12 remains a step below the previous three in the pool, the addition of Bob Bowman’s red-hot Sun Devils is a massive boost.

“I’m thrilled that the University of Oregon has the opportunity to join the nation’s preeminent academic-athletic conference,” said University of Oregon President John Karl Scholz. “Our student-athletes will participate at the highest level of collegiate athletic competition, and our alumni, friends, and fans will be able to carry the spirit of Oregon across the country.”

“The Big Ten is a thriving conference with strong athletic and academic traditions, and we are excited and confident about competing at the highest level on a national stage,” said University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce. “My top priority must be to do what is best for our student-athletes and our University, and this move will help ensure a strong future for our athletics program.”

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10 months ago

The end of sponsored Olympic Sports for D1 schools is CLOSE! 🙁 Head Coaches better start honing their fundraising skills!

10 months ago

Looks like the single sex conference meet is coming back to the SEC!!!

10 months ago

Read an online article from CBS sports today. It wasn’t terribly in depth but the overall arc of the article was about how Cal and Stanford might be in real jeapordy of being the top of the MWC with no home in the Big10 or Big12.
The article pointed out that both Cal and Stanford picked the absolute worst time for their football programs to tank, but also mentioned the ‘overall eroding of support for non-revenue sports on the west coast’ (mentioned was Stanford and the Director’s Cup).
I honestly don’t care about Bear or Cardinal football.
But I was interested in the comment about the erosion of non-revenue sports overall on the west coast.
Obviously… Read more »

10 months ago

How is it that Stanford is left without a conference right now? One of the best athletics programs (based on Directors Cup)?

I’d like to see Cal and Stanford in the ACC but doubt it will happen.

Reply to  Wahoowah
10 months ago

2 reasons:

1) they don’t draw the tv eyeballs for football
2) they were too interested in NOT being “a part of that other conference” (the Big 12) when the opportunity presented itself for whatever reasons that ultimately are going to be their undoing.

10 months ago

It’s been a horrible week for PAC 12 fans, absolutely horrible. I’m really going to miss “The Conference of Champions. I never, ever thought this could happen and it’s very sad. Unbelievable.

10 months ago

Can anyone smarter than me tell me if this can have any implications on bringing UW swimming back? Please? 🙁

Reply to  Swimposter
10 months ago

Nothing is bringing back UW except an endowment of over 50mil

10 months ago

does the changing coach rule apply for transfers if the school changes conference?

Reply to  swammer1234567
10 months ago

Maybe it should, but it doesn’t.

Reply to  swammer1234567
10 months ago

To be fair, all of these moves aren’t officially happening for another academic year, thus nothing is stopping any student-athlete from entering their appropriate portal window sometime throughout this upcoming year.

Alex Wilson
10 months ago

Link to press conference comments on move to Big 12 by ASU President Michael Crow and Athletic director Ray Anderson this morning. Link:

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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