Big 12 presidents reportedly vote ‘unanimously’ on Colorado joining
Jul 27, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: Sep 11, 2023, 11:18 am
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY– The Big 12 has maintained that they have “a plan” for conference expansion. That plan suddenly appears to be going at light speed, with the Colorado Buffaloes at the center of it all.
On Wednesday night, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the Big 12 presidents and chancellors “voted unanimously” during a conference call “to accept Colorado as a new member.” CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd also confirmed the report.
Sources: The Big 12’s presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Wednesday night on a conference call to accept Colorado as a new member. Colorado still has not formally applied for Big 12 membership, which is expected to happen tomorrow.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 27, 2023
The next move for Colorado to the Big 12 is a Special Board Meeting. That meeting will occur on Thursday, July 27, at 3 p.m. On the agenda for the board meeting is an “action item” on “athletics operations.”
That action is supposed to include a vote from Colorado’s Board of Regents to approve the Big 12 move.Individuals who love conference expansion fodder can watch the live stream at 3 p.m.
Expansion has been a hot topic for awhile
Since the Pac-12 Conference lost USC and UCLA to the Big Ten in 2022, there have been endless reports about the Big 12 pursuing the “four corner schools.” Those schools consist of Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah.
Talk of Colorado moving didn’t slow down the expansion rumors when CU’s Athletic Director Rick George told BuffZone.com in May, “In a perfect world, we’d love to be in the Pac-12, but we also have to do what’s right for Colorado at the end of the day. We’ll evaluate things as we move forward.”
Speculation continued to move quickly last week in the lead-up to Pac-12 Media Days after Colorado’s Chancellor told the Denver Post he expected to see financial numbers for the Pac-12 media rights from Commissioner George Kliavkoff. Those numbers were reportedly not presented.
The status of the Pac-12’s media rights, which are set to expire after the 2023-24 academic year, remains a mystery.
Then Rick George quickly exited Media Days, despite being part of a College Football Playoff panel to answer questions from reporters. To avoid questioning, he told reporters he was late for a flight.
Move to the Big 12 would return Colorado to its roots
The Buffs leaving the Pac-12 would bring them to their roots. Colorado was a founding member of the Big 12 Conference when the league was established in 1996. Before that, they were members of the Big 8 and Big 7.
Earlier this month at Big 12 Media Days in Arlington, Texas, Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark was asked his views on the Colorado program as the Buffs get set to take on current Big 12 member TCU in week one of the season.
“Listen, they know brands. I’m a brand guy. I think they’ve done an incredible job,” said Yormark. “If you look at how they’re elevating and amplifying their brand, engaging with their fans, they’ve done a wonderful job. So I wish them well.”
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.