Report: Is Colorado Making A Move To Big 12?
Jul 26, 2023, 4:45 PM | Updated: 9:11 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – ESPN’s Pete Thamel is reporting Colorado’s Board of Trustees meeting this afternoon may be one step in the process of the Buffs moving on from the Pac-12 to the Big 12.
Colorado subsequently has another meeting scheduled for tomorrow.
This comes on the heels of months of speculation that Colorado was basically out the door after several delays in the Pac-12 putting together a new media deal. Interestingly enough, last week the Buffs’ chancellor was on record as saying the 10 remaining Pac-12 schools were together and awaiting more details from George Kliavkoff.
Thamel’s report paints a vastly different picture a week later talking to Buffs’ A.D. Rick George who was part of a round-table discussion at Pac-12 Media Day in Las Vegas.
ESPN spoke to Colorado AD Rick George on Tuesday in Indianapolis. He declined comment on a potential move to the Big 12. He did say about things coming to a head soon: "We are where we are. We've just got to figure it out." https://t.co/2OREqPHkMG
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 26, 2023
Pete Thamel Reports Big 12 Unanimously Votes For Colorado To Join
After reports surfaced earlier in the day that Colorado met to discuss moving to the Big 12 and Brett McMurphy reported it was all but a done deal, Thamel came back once again to report one more domino in the process has dropped.
But tonight’s Big 12 vote marks another necessary step toward Colorado joining the Big 12. Colorado's Board of Regents is expected to vote on the move from the Pac-12 to the Big 12 on Thursday, which is another step toward finalizing the move.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 27, 2023
According to these Tweets, the Big 12 meet late Wednesday evening to vote on Colorado’s entry- the vote is being reported as unanimous though Colorado has yet to formally apply for the conference. That move is expected to happen in a second meeting to be held on Thursday at 3:00 pm MT. All eyes will be glued to the internet to see if the Buffs do in fact go through with the move.
Brett McMurphy Reporting Colorado Move Is Immanent
Moments after publishing the first version of this story, Action Network’s Brett McMurphy published his own report siting a source saying Colorado plans to move to the Big 12 in 2024 at a full share of the $31.7 million media distribution. McMurphy says the Buffs are set to formally apply to the Big 12 Thursday.
An announcement is expected sometime Thursday provided Colorado’s Board of Regents approve the move in their second meeting.
Breaking Down Thamel’s Report
There were a few points of interest in Thamel’s report that ring a little different than some of the other instances of “buzz” around a scheduled Colorado meeting.
- Thamel reported Colorado A.D. Rick George expressed frustration around where the Pac-12 was at with their media deal- a vast departure from what he told Pac-12 reporter John Canzano in March.
- Thamel is also reporting the Big 12 is holding a meeting with their presidents and chancellors with an update on potential expansion later tonight.
- Thamel’s report also includes that a meeting at a neutral site with Colorado and Big 12 officials took place in May.
- Finally, Thamel’s report says the Pac-12 presidents were awaiting media deal numbers last week ahead of Media Day, but those numbers were never presented.
Colorado is in discussions about leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 12, per ESPN sources. There's a just completed board meeting and one scheduled for tomorrow on the topic. There's a Big 12 presidents meeting tonight which will cover expansion, per sources. https://t.co/7EEzg6Yb0l
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 26, 2023
What KSL Has Learned
I’ve hit the phone to see what I could come up with in regard to Colorado, their scheduled meetings and if it marks a move to the Big 12 and the picture painted was a little fuzzy.
One contact within the Pac-12 stated they think Colorado may have run out of patience, but ultimately are unsure of what is happening and remain “on the fence” until more is said. Thought the public nature of how this has gone down/been reported was a little odd.
I’ll tell you what. I’ve never been involved in so many conversations where one thing was said and the same person calls back later and says the opposite. Lots of confusion at the moment which seems to be the one thing everyone agrees on. I do lean that Colorado is likely gone.
— Michelle Bodkin (@BodkinKSLsports) July 27, 2023
Another contact within the T.V. realm said the best they could tell was this was “exploratory” and don’t believe these are meetings to decide whether to stay or go. Thinks another round of meetings would have to take place with the Colorado president and other decision-makers before a move was made.
T.V. contact came back and said they believe Colorado moving is actually a done deal and tomorrow is a formality, believes it’s just Colorado leaving the Pac-12 though. Thinks UConn may be joining them. Reiterated how crazy the move feels.
One final contact with connections to Colorado’s athletic department said they weren’t getting the vibe the Buffs were going anywhere. They did admit however, this is a “weird” situation- suggested there may be a power play being made in an attempt to make something happen.
This same contact came back moments later emphasizing their contact with the Colorado athletic department says any move is a “no” but had a large booster saying a move might happen, and one other Colorado contact saying it will happen.
What Does This Mean For The Pac-12, Big 12?
So, what does this all mean? Unfortunately, it’s hard to say right now meaning we’ll need to wait and see what if anything comes from either the Big 12’s meeting tonight or Colorado’s second meeting tomorrow.
Thamel’s report does paint a different, and more detailed picture than past reports have. Additionally, the information out of my contacts is a little different than in the past, but not enough to tip my feelings one way or the other on this just yet.
Hang in there Pac-12 fans, I’ll post further updates as they become available.
Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports
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