Big 12 News

Arizona Is A ‘Hard Lean’ to Join Colorado in Leaving for Big 12: Report

NCAA Football: Arizona at Colorado

According to a report from CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, the Arizona Wildcats are now considered a “hard lean” to follow Colorado in leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big 12.

Dodd reports that Arizona has entered significant discussions about leaving the Pac-12 and is meeting Thursday night in executive session with an agenda item on “possible legal advice and discussion regarding university athletics.”

Reports have already surfaced suggesting that Arizona is expected to tie its future to Arizona State and Utah, making the remainder of the “Four Corner” schools something of a package deal. So, if that holds true, the Big 12 could be on the verge of locking up three more schools from the Pac-12, bringing its permanent membership to 16 schools.


While nothing is set in stone yet, the Pac-12 would need some 11th-hour magic to bring them out of a total collapse. In addition to Dodd’s report of the Wildcats being a “hard lean” to the Big 12, Yahoo! Sports’ Ross Dellenger has also reported that the Big 12 met on Thursday to approve the application of Arizona, paving the way for them to become the Big 12’s 14th member.

Arizona president Robert Robbins has been adamant through the media rights process that he would stick around to hear what the Pac-12 had to offer, and when George Kliavkoff approached the table with the Apple TV+ deal that we’d all heard rumored, it likely served as the last straw for the nation’s most unstable conference.

The projected $20M deal with Apple TV, which is laced with incentives for schools based on subscription numbers to the streaming service, falls well short of the $31.7M deal that the Big 12 will begin in 2024, making it a no-brainer financially for Pac-12 schools looking for a way out.

At this point, the remaining nine schools are waiting to see who jumps first, so they can avoid the perception of blood on their hands, but let’s be honest, USC and UCLA are the responsible parties if and when the Pac-12 comes crumbling down in the near future.

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