Conference realignment is continuing following the departure of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten. Now, the Pac-12 is in danger of dissolving in the coming years.
According to CBS Sports, the Big 12 is in "deep talks" with multiple Pac-12 programs as a way to shore up its membership. The conference recently added BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston to combat the losses of Texas and Oklahoma, both of whom will leave for the SEC no later than 2025.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the Big 12 would reach out to Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah due to geographical location. Now, it could be looking to add both Oregon and Washington as well in hopes of fortifying its status as one of the top conferences moving forward.
"Everything is on the table," one Big 12 source told CBS Sports.
Both Oregon and Washington reportedly reached out to the Big Ten in hopes of discussing further expansion, but the conference isn't looking to add the two schools as of this time. A source close to the situation tells LonghornsCountry.com that the conference's main goal is to add Notre Dame before extending offers to other programs.
Another source tells LonghornsCountry.com that should Notre Dame join the conference, the Big Ten would be "intrigued" to add Stanford due to its rivalry with the Fighting Irish. The two programs have played each year since 1997 with Notre Dame holding the all-time 21-13 record.
Part of the reason the Big 12 could be looking to poach multiple programs from the Pac-12 is due to the conference's future share in media rights. Currently, the Pac-12 is expected to begin negotiations for its next media rights agreements in the coming days. The Pac-12's current deal with Fox and ESPN expires in 2024. Meanwhile, the Big 12's contract with both networks expires in 2025.
No. 1 SI99 RB Cedric Baxter Jr. Announces Commitment
Top Longhorns target and No. 1 running back Cedric Baxter has made his college decision
Longhorns WR Commit Ryan Niblett's Spot Revealed on 2023 SI99 Recruiting Rankings
Niblett announced his pledge to Texas on April 23.
Longhorns Commit Derek Williams Jr. Debuts As No. 2 Safety in 2023 SI99 Rankings
Derek Williams Jr. is among elite company in the preseason 2023 SI99 Prospect Rankings.
Should the Big 12 only look to add the four schools initially listed, it would expand the conference further into the Mountain Time Zone, thus creating "rivalries" in future markets. BYU has a long-standing rivalry with Utah called 'The Holy War' that's been played nearly every season since 1922. The Arizona schools are two hours apart and would bring Phoenix as a major television market.
Both Oregon and Washington would bring in promising television markets in Portland and Seattle, respectively. The two schools would also add a higher level of respect in terms of postseason success as the Ducks and Huskies remain the only two programs in Pac-12 history to reach the College Football Playoff.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, the Pac-12's projected annual average value has dropped significantly from $500 million annually (approximately $42 million per school) to $300 million ($30 million) following the departure of USC and UCLA. As for the Big 12, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah all match or succeed the current 12 teams remaining in Big 12 for the start of the 2025 season.
FanNation.com will keep you up to date with the potential realignment of the Big 12 and the future of the Pac-12 in the coming weeks.
Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Longhorns? Sign up for the daily LonghornsCountry.com Newsletter Today!
Want to join in on the discussion? Click here to become a member of the Longhorns Country message board community today!