Big 12 Conference Reportedly ‘Deep’ In Talks With Utah, Pac-12 Teams
SALT LAKE CITY – The Big 12 Conference appears to be on the attack in realignment talks. Dennis Dodd from CBS Sports is reporting that the Big 12 is in “deep discussions” to bring on programs from the Pac-12.
The Big 12 could add up to six Pac-12 teams, but the four targets currently are Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, and Colorado. Washington and Oregon were also mentioned as possibilities. But like nearly anyone in today’s conference landscape, the Ducks and Huskies want the Big Ten or SEC to come calling. How likely is that? Time will tell.
Could the Big 12 Conference end up adding four Pac-12 schools?
Another option per Dodd is a full-blown merger between the Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences.
It’s a complete 180-degree twist from last year when the Big 12 lost Texas and Oklahoma. Last August, former Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby met with George Kliavkoff about a potential merger between the two leagues. The Pac-12 said no. Fast forward 11 months later, some members of the Pac-12 could be turning to the Big 12 for a lifeline.
This news comes on the heels of Arizona’s 247Sports Publisher Jason Scheer reporting that the Arizona schools, Colorado, and Utah would have a meeting with Big 12 officials today.
Pac-12 looking for immediate stability through media rights
Earlier this morning, the Pac-12’s Board of Directors authorized the league to “immediately begin negotiations for its next media rights agreements.”
The reasonable goal would be to secure a new media package while also bringing in a Grant of Rights that would create some stability for the league that was “extremely surprised and disappointed” after bell-cow brands USC and UCLA departed for the Big Ten.
If the Big 12 added the Arizona schools, Colorado, and Utah, it would bring membership to 16 teams. In addition, it would reunite Utah with longtime rival BYU as a conference foe.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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