Huge 12 in deep discussions so as to add as much as six Pac-12 groups after USC, UCLA defected to Huge Ten

The Big 12 entered into in-depth discussions to add more Pac-12 programs as a way to solidify its membership after USC and UCLA defected to the Big Ten, sources told CBS Sports. At least four teams are under consideration with potential for the Big 12 to add as the reorganization continues to falter.

Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah have been specifically mentioned as the teams targeted by the Big 12, sources told CBS Sports. There is also consideration of adding Oregon and Washington to make the Big 12 an 18-team league, the biggest in FBS.

A merger of the Big 12 and Pac-12 is, in a sense, also a possibility.

A Big 12 source said: “Everything is on the table.

“There is no doubt” the Big 12 must actively expand, another source of the conference said.

Despite the Big 12’s efforts, Pac-12 released a statement on Monday saying it would immediately begin negotiations on its next TV contract, intending to proceed with at least 10 members. remaining. According to a Pac-12 source, there are many possibilities that could be added to the mix. Pac-12’s current deal expires in 2024

However, a source familiar with the negotiations says that doesn’t necessarily mean all the Pac-12s will stay together “for three months”.

The Pac-12 is expected to enter into an exclusive 30-day negotiation period with current rights holders Fox and ESPN before making offers from other bidders.

Ahead of Monday’s Pac-12 announcement, an industry source suggested that the Big 12 should quickly expand with Pac-12 teams then bring to market early with the rights holders to stay ahead of the Pac-12. Pac-12’s deal with Fox and ESPN expires in 2024. The Big 12’s deal with similar networks expires in 2025.

“All of that has been talked about,” a Big 12 source said.

Adding at least those four schools would extend the Big 12 further into the Mountain Time Zone, creating a “travel partner” for the upcoming BYU member while also adding a rival for Cougars in Utes. The Arizona schools are two hours apart and have Phoenix as a major acquisition market for the conference.

What the Big 12 can’t do, according to multiple industry sources, is stand. There is still the lingering question of who even has the leverage in adding teams between the Pac-12 and the Big 12.

An industry source has put forward what is called a slight tilt of the Big 12 in possibly attracting groups from other conferences.

The difference in earnings value between the Big 12 and the Pac-12 will be “negligible” after this round of reorganization, but as it expands, the Big 12 will at least reinforce itself while reducing the Pac-12.

Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah deliver an average annual value (AAV) that is at least in line with the 12 members of the Big 12 set to stay in the league after Texas and Oklahoma leave in 2025.

That’s one reason why the Big 12 expansion would work in this case as the conference wouldn’t aim to make the media rights pie smaller. It remains unclear whether adding Oregon and Washington will be viewed in the same way by the Big 12.

All of this, of course, is assuming Fox, a half-hearted partner with ESPN in both conferences, is even interested in working out a deal with one or both of the reimagined leagues. Otherwise, ESPN could become the primary rights holder, if interested.

There is a relationship to be repaired with the Big 12 after outgoing commissioner Bob Bowlsby accused last summer of a conspiracy involving ESPN, the SEC and the Americans. New Commissioner Brett Yormark begins August 1.

Pac-12’s projected AAV has dropped dramatically from $500 million annually (about $42 million per school) to $300 million ($30 million) for the remaining 10 teams after the tournament. lose USC and UCLA, according to San Jose Mercury News.

Navigate, a sports and leisure consulting group, announced in March that members of the 12-person Big 12 will earn $52 million by 2029. Other industry insiders have disputed that figure.

Notre Dame’s “hobby” is maintaining independence, according to Sports Illustrated. The possibility of making $80 million to $100 million in the Big Ten may have influenced that stance, but Notre Dame has left the money on the table before that – for decades, indeed.

The Fighting Irish have historically valued independence in their schedules and unmatched marketing prowess. If Notre Dame remains a stand-alone, attention will clearly be on the Big 12 and Pac-12 in the reorganization.

The merger of money and power at the top of the 32 SEC and Big Ten programs has sent shockwaves throughout college sports.

What will the playoffs look like in 2026 when a unanimous vote is no longer required to approve the updated structure? Will there even be a playoff?

The 98 schools below the SEC and Big Ten are forced to try to get as close to supernormal as possible. The ACC is locked in its agreement until 2036, assuming no defections.

For the Big 12, having the flexibility to increase monetization, media markets and brands are compelling enough reasons to consider expansion.

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