The Big 12 has unanimously accepted the Colorado Buffaloes for membership to the league, according to a report filed by ESPN.com.
The Big 12’s presidents and chancellors reportedly participated in a conference call Wednesday night to vote on accepting Colorado as a new member.
Momentum has gathered quickly for Colorado to re-join the conference it helped found in 1996. On Wednesday, the Pac-12 had another conference call about its media rights negotiations. Later on Wednesday, the Colorado Board of Regents met to discuss the media rights situation.
Later Wednesday, the Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reported that the Buffs were headed back to the Big 12 after Pac-12 media rights negotiations failed to meet their expectations after more than eight months without being able to secure a media rights deal.
The CU Board of Regents will meet on Thursday at 3 p.m. mountain time. The belief is that the board will give the school approval to apply for Big 12 membership, which would be the next step for the Buffs to leave the Pac-12 for the Big 12.
The Buffaloes were in the Big 12 from 1996 to 2011 before leaving for the Pac-12 in the last major phase of conference realignment before Texas and Oklahoma’s move to the SEC set of another round in 2021.
Should the Buffs move, it’s likely they would join the league for the 2024-25 season, which is when the Pac-12’s current media deal ends.
CU would reportedly receive a full Big 12 media share ($31.7M) from its ESPN/Fox media deal by joining the league. It’s still not clear what the open market will yield for a Pac-12 media deal.
Colorado is the first current Pac-12 school to jump ship for the Big 12. This time last year, there were expectations that more schools from the so-called “four corner schools” might head for the Big 12 as well.
Arizona president Robert C. Robbins said on Wednesday night that the school is still waiting to see what the media deal will be before it makes decisions on its future in the Pac-12.
Recently, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman reported that Colorado was ready to commit to the Big 12 “soon,” followed by a report from CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd that Colorado was in “substantive” talks with the Big 12 concerning a potential move.