Conference realignment has its latest development — this time, a shift back to the past. Colorado University is expected to return to the Big 12 Conference, per Pete Thamel at ESPN.
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
Colorado was a member of the Big 12 from 1996 to 2010 before leaving for the Pac-12 in 2011.
Since joining the Pac-12, Colorado has seen little success in the NCAA’s highest-revenue sport — football. The Buffaloes own no bowl wins and just two winning football seasons.
The Big 12 will compete as a 14-team conference during the 2023-24 athletic year with four new members in BYU, Cincinnati, Central Florida and Houston. Following this year, Oklahoma and Texas will depart for the SEC.
Colorado’s departure from the Pac-12 would follow the 2023-24 season, coinciding with the end of the Pac-12 television deal. Colorado would not have to pay the Pac-12 an exit fee as a result of the conference failing to strike a deal.
With the addition of Colorado, the Big 12 would stand at 13 members. Universities that have been rumored to join are fellow Pac-12 members Arizona, Arizona State and Utah, in addition to Connecticut and others.
The Big 12 has been active under the one-year leadership of Commissioner Brett Yormark. After he became commissioner in August 2022, the conference struck a six-year, $2.28 billion TV deal with ESPN and Fox Sports. Colorado is his latest accomplishment, and Yormark is not likely to slow down soon.