Realignment dominos? Big 12 reportedly considering merger with other Power 5 conference
Texas and Oklahoma sent shockwaves through college sports this week when reports surfaced that they were interested in joining the SEC.
Without those bell cows at the helm of the Big 12, the conference is reportedly looking at other avenues to solidify its brand, and perhaps more importantly, make itself appealing to television partners.
Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and Jeremy Clark of 247 Sports are reach reporting that the issue of, “Reaching out to the Pac-12 about a potential 20-school merger was discussed during Thursday’s Big 12 leadership call.”
There are plenty of questions of what would happen to the league without its biggest — and most lucrative — brands across the Plains.
It appears there are several options available, including trying to keep the two blue bloods, which was at least part of the conversation on Thursday during a meeting of leadership across the conference.
“There is a recognition that institutions may act in their own self-interest, however there is an expectation that members adhere to Conference bylaws and the enforcement of Grant of Rights agreements,” a statement from the league said, per the Associated Press.
The Big 12′s grant of rights, which ties a school’s media rights to the conference, runs through the current television deals with ESPN and Fox. Those expire in June 2025.
TCU insider @JClarkHFB247 has reported that TCU, Baylor, and Texas Tech have already reached out to the PAC-12.
One source told him “The Big 12 is going to blow up man”
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) July 23, 2021
Per @BruceFeldmanCFB, “Reaching out to the Pac-12 about a potential 20-school merger was discussed during Thursday’s Big 12 leadership call.”
God bless realignment.https://t.co/Dw0E4nQf17
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 23, 2021