Colorado Football stumbled to a 1-11 conference record in the Pac-12 last season, tied with Stanford for the league’s worst record. The team responded by hiring Head Coach Deion Sanders, increasing optimism.
Now, Colorado may be eyeing a new, and familiar, conference.
According to a report from The Oklahoman, Colorado football is rumored to be ready to commit to joining the Big 12 “soon.”
The rumor comes on the heels of Washington State president Kirk Schulz issuing a variety of spending freezes following the Pac-12’s financial crisis. The New York Post added that ESPN and the Pac-12’s talks over a TV contract extension have reached a stalemate. The contract expires in summer 2024.
Big 12 officials were told by ESPN that the Big 12 would be aired on its ‘Tier 1’ level, along with the SEC and ACC. The Buffaloes could improve their recruiting presence by joining the league.
The television networks are said to be asking Pac-12 members to take less money on a new television contract according to the report.
The Big 12 currently has a television contract with ESPN and Fox that runs through 2031. If the league can add members from the Pac-12, its TV presence would be strengthened. The Big 12 may also seek to add weekly late-night games.
The top four Pac-12 schools being mentioned include Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah, the “four-corner schools” of the conference.
Colorado faces financial dilemmas within its athletic department, but the hiring of Sanders to head coach of the football team has increased excitement.
Colorado football has had just two winning seasons since former head coach Gary Barnett left the office 18 years ago, the last of which was a 4-2 record during the pandemic season in 2020.