Utah Officially Votes To Join Big 12 Conference

Aug 4, 2023, 6:48 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah will have a new home in the Big 12 in 2024 after the Pac-12 couldn’t cross the finish line with their media rights deal.

Everything started going south for the Conference of Champions on June 30, 2022, when USC and UCLA declared they were joining the Big Ten in 2024. At the time, the remaining 10 members of the Pac posted their allegiance for each other and keeping the conference otherwise intact while pursuing new media rights.

That messaging remained unchanged all the way through this past Pac-12 Media Day where conference commissioner George Kliavkoff doubled down on rumors the Pac was about to splinter. Colorado announced they were out the door about a week later. Fast forward nearly one more week and Arizona along with ASU were out the door with Utah following suit.

The Utes are now about to help make up a Western-most branch of the Big 12 with their former Pac-12 conference mates in Colorado, ASU, and Arizona along with in-state rival BYU who joined the conference for 2023.

How Utah Ended Up In The Big 12

There are a lot of points along the way that can be attributed to the Pac-12’s failure to survive.

Hiring Larry Scott as the conference commissioner and retaining him for too long is a big fault on the part of the now former Conference of Champions.

Being innovative (Pac-12 Network) but not understanding the undertaking or distributing the product properly was another failure. Add in having opportunities to remedy the situation and not checking off the list.

The Pac-12 also miserably failed at keeping pulse of where their teams were at, not only with the SoCal schools, but with Colorado, Oregon, and Washington as well. Arizona could be considered one more failure as it was alleged they were out the door as late as Thursday night before things lightened up a tad Friday morning.

Utah and ASU held out the longest and were some of the remaining Pac’s staunchest supporters, but a lack of a T.V. deal and trust ultimately tipped the tide in the Big 12’s favor.

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 TwitterInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Officially Votes To Join Big 12 Conference