*Originally reported on June 6, 2023*
The Big 12 is reportedly on the verge of adding Colorado and Arizona in a move that could be devastating for the Pac-12.
According to the The Swaim Show, Colorado and Arizona are planning to leave for the Big 12, but nothing will become official until the Pac-12 finalizes their media deal.
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
Over the past few months, officials from Colorado and Arizona have hinted that their loyalty to the Pac-12 depends on the conference’s next media deal. ESPN is rumored to have pulled out of negotiations as the primary media partner with the league as the Pac-12 remains the only major conference without a long-term media contract.
Back in March, the Big 12 reportedly renewed talks with Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Colorado about potential membership. Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff accused the Big 12 of “trying to destabilize our remaining conference.”
The Arizona men’s swimming and diving squad finished 4th out of six teams at February’s Pac-12 Championships while the women placed 6th out of eight teams. Colorado currently doesn’t sponsor swimming and diving.
The Big 12 will add BYU, Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF next season to bring its total number of members to 14. The 2023-24 season will be the last with Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12 after the powerhouse programs negotiated an early exit to the SEC in 2024.
The Pac-12 is still reeling from USC and UCLA’s decision last summer to bolt for the Big Ten in 2024. The Big Ten might not be done yet, either, with Oregon and Washington in talks with the conference about a potential merger.
Last month, the conference realignment wheels began turning again as eight ACC schools — Clemson, Florida State, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Louisville — were reported to have been meeting with lawyers over the past several months to examine how unbreakable their Grant of Rights is.