After months of speculation, Colorado might soon be on its way back to the Big 12.
Colorado held a board of regents meetings Wednesday and has reportedly scheduled a second for Thursday, according to Pete Thamel, where Colorado is expected to discuss a potential move back to the league it left ahead of the 2011-12 school year. According to Brett McMurphy, Colorado is expected to discuss and approve a Big 12 move at Thursday’s meeting. Meanwhile, the Big 12 is hosting a presidents meeting Wednesday night to discuss expansion, according to Thamel.
This spawns as the Pac-12 has struggled to find a new media rights deal after UCLA and USC announced an upcoming move from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten. In that time the Big 12 jumped the Pac-12 in the media negotiations line to strike a renewed deal with ESPN and FOX.
After the Big 12 lost Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC, the Pac-12 stood stagnant instead of looking to add other Big 12 schools. The Pac-12 even joined a handshake alliance with the Big Ten and the ACC before the Big Ten instantly went against said alliance and snagged the two Los Angeles schools for the Big Ten.
Colorado was in the Big 12 from 1996 to 2010 before leaving the conference for the Pac-12. Since joining the Pac-12, Colorado has appeared in only two bowl games, both of which the Buffaloes lost. Colorado has a longstanding tie to Big 12 country as a member of the Big Eight before the Big 12 was formed.
Colorado has not yet applied for Big 12 membership, according to McMurphy, but that could happen soon. Should this move happen, it would take place ahead of the 2024-25 school year when the Pac-12’s media right’s deal ends. With the rights deal ending, Colorado would not have to pay an exit fee, according to Thamel.