Arizona, Arizona State and Utah are leaving the Pac-12 to become the newest members of the Big 12 and will join the conference in 2024, the conference announced Friday night.
“We are thrilled to welcome Arizona, Arizona State and Utah to the Big 12,” commissioner Brett Yormark said in a statement. “The Conference is gaining three premier institutions both academically and athletically, and the entire Big 12 looks forward to working alongside their presidents, athletic directors, student-athletes and administrators.”
The Pac-12 is on life support with six members leaving the conference in just over a week. The Wildcats, Sun Devils and Utes are following Colorado to the Big 12. Colorado decided to rejoin the conference last week and Washington and Oregon announced their moves to the Big Ten earlier Friday evening.
Adding the three Pac-12 schools brings the Big 12, currently at 14 teams, to a group of 16 teams after next summer’s departures of Oklahoma and Texas for the SEC.
Coming in conjunction with Colorado, Washington and Oregon, the trio’s decision deals yet another blow to the future of the Pac-12. The league has attempted to tread water amid diminishing on-field results and an unsettled media-rights deal but has fallen well off the pace set by the rest of the Power Five conferences.
With the losses this summer joining the announced exits last year of UCLA and Southern California for the Big Ten next year, the Pac-12 now just has four members remaining: California, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington State.
Given the uncertainty over the league’s immediate future and ability to garner a meaningful rights deal from broadcast partners, it’s very likely that other Pac-12 members evaluate additional expansion or realignment options.
Previously members of the Border Conference and the Western Athletic Conference,…