Arizona Prez: Any realignment talk is ‘premature’

As Lee Corso would say, “not so fast my friends”

The talk out west when not discussing Caleb Williams and the rest of the offenses in the Pac-12 has surrounded potential realignment. The Big 12 hasn’t been shy about wanting to gut the Pac-12 further after losing both the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans to the Big Ten.

The current target seems to be the Colorado Buffaloes, who command plenty of headlines due to new head coach Deion Sanders. The Buffs’ former conference is interested in bringing them back to the Big 12. However, if you ask another Pac-12 school president, you might want to tap those brakes.

University of Arizona President Robby Robbins says that these talks are “premature”.

“We have not seen a deal,” Robbins said. “If we see a working document that gives us numbers, that’s what we don’t have. Until we have it, nobody can make an informed decision because we will not have been informed.”

Recent reports indicate that the conference has agreed to the Grant of Rights language, they still do not have a long-term tv deal. With the reports of Colorado joining Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah as possible targets for the Big 12, it can’t make those negotiations any easier.

We are still in a wait-and-see approach but the longer they go without a long-term deal like the rest of the Power Five conferences, the more likely they are to get gutted by the remaining four. The Big 12 has also looked at Gonzaga and UConn as they look to make a strong basketball conference even stronger.

Big 12 launches Big 12 Mexico; looks to play exhibitions and more south of the border

The Big 12 on Thursday launched their new initiative, Big 12 Mexico as they look to grow their footprint into the country.

On Thursday, the Big 12 conference announced the launching of Big 12 Mexico.

Big 12 Mexico is being described as “the Conference’s first international extension that will see Big 12 men’s and women’s basketball, women’s soccer, and baseball games held in Mexico”.

Also a part of the initiative is the potential launching of a college football bowl game that would be played in Monterrey, starting in 2026.

“Mexico is a natural extension to the Big 12 footprint, and I’m thrilled to introduce Big 12 Mexico as the Conference’s first-ever international presence,” Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark said in the press release. Through Big 12 Mexico, our student-athletes will have the opportunity to compete in an international setting, and our Conference will have the chance to showcase our brand across Mexico.”

As part of the initiative, the Big 12 will see Kansas and one of their newest universities, Houston, face off in Mexico City at Arena CDMX in December of 2024 in both men’s and women’s basketball. There are also plans wot have women’s soccer and baseball exhibitions against clubs from within the region.

The launch of Big 12 Mexico will be assisted by both Fox Sports and ESPN who will use their ESPN Deportes, ESPN Mexico, ESPN on Star+, and Fox Deportes channels to air various Big 12 football and basketball games. The conference plans to continue to expand its media strategy in Meixco over the upcoming years as well.

The conference also notes that there will be a “community outreach programming, commercial partnerships, merchandise, and activations,” as part of the initiative.

As the Big 12 expands its footprint into Mexico, the conference is also looking to expand its footprint within the United States. The conference has been in talks with various universities such as Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, and others to potentially join the conference.

Ranking the best Big 12 wide receivers ahead of the 2023 season

Texas and Texas Tech lead the way in our Big 12 WR rankings with seven players between the two schools.

Since the formation of the Big 12 in 1996, this conference has been known for its passing offense. More importantly, we have seen monster years from the wide receivers.

Players such as Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma), James Washington (Oklahoma State), Kendall Wright (Baylor), Roy Williams (Texas), and Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech) are among those conference legends at receiver.

This year’s group will include players from Brigham Young, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston joining the 10 existing members from 2022. But which of these teams has the best receivers in our preliminary rankings ahead of the 2023 season?

Among our list, the Texas Longhorns and Texas Tech Red Raiders have the most players ranked. But perhaps one of the newcomers could snag the top spot by season’s end.

Check out our top receivers as we inch closer to the start of the 2023 season in the new-look Big 12.

REPORT: Colorado mulling future with Pac-12 as Big 12 continues to press

Is the Pac-12 about to lose another school to conference realignment?

According to a new report from Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, the University of Colorado and the Big 12 have had “substantive” discussions recently regarding the Buffaloes’ future.

In his report, Dodd says;

“Colorado has been in “substantive” talks with the Big 12 about possibly joining the growing league, a source with knowledge of the discussions tells CBS Sports.”

The report builds upon a report from last week from The Oklahoman writer Berry Tramel who reported that Colorado was in fact getting ready to “commit to joining the Big 12” in the near future.

With the future of the Pac-12 having plenty of questions, the University of Colorado is exploring its options going forward. One of those options is to rejoin the Big 12 which the university left following the 2009-10 academic school year.

Any type of conference realignment change for Colorado would occur following the 2024-2025 academic year. The earliest the Buffaloes could join another conference would be July 1, 2025. Additionally, Dodd reports that Colorado would be expected to receive a $31.7 million share of the Big 12’s equal media rights deal upon their entry.

After losing Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC, the Big 12 has been very proactive in ensuring the future of the conference and its long-term sustainability. Commissioner Brett Yormark has led that expansion charge which already includes BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston. All four schools will be joining for this upcoming 2023 academic year.

The Pac-12, on the other hand, has struggled in finding which way to go following the departures of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten after this upcoming academic year. It’s been reported that San Diego State is a “shoe-in” to join the Pac-12 but beyond that many questions remain.

The conference is also still discussing its next television contract which has carried on well longer than expected. With questions regarding the future of multiple schools within the conference, it remains to be seen when a potential television contract will be completed as any suitors for the deal would certainly want to ensure which schools will be locked into the Pac-12 for the foreseeable future.

Get more Colorado news, analysis, and opinions on Buffs Wire

Big 12 continues to eye expansion with new potential target emerging

The Big 12 continues to eye conference expansion and is looking beyond their already established footprint.

The college football sports landscape has been everchanging over the last few years and while the Big Ten and SEC have grabbed most of the headlines, the Big 12 has been active in their own right.

While the Big 12’s activity has been more to limit the potential of its demise, the conference has made strong additions to the conference as of late including BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston. Now, they could be looking to add another program to their conference.

According to Russ Steinberg of Boardroom, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark recently visited UConn to meet with the university’s administration. The conversations at this point were considered “very exploratory”.

This is not the first time that UConn and the Big 12 have been brought up together this week. Earlier this week, Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated listed UConn among the schools that the Big 12 was considering when it came to further conference expansion. He also listed Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, San Diego State, and UNLV among those that the conference was targeting.

Of course, one of those schools, San Diego State is also reportedly favored to join the Pac-12 in the near future according to the same report by Dellenger. You can read more on San Diego State’s future, here.

UConn, of course, is familiar with changing conferences. After being part of the Big East from 1979 through 2012, the Huskies joined the AAC from 2013 through 2019 before joining the Big East once again for all sports except football, once again in 2020.

When it comes to football, the program played one season in 1979 before returning in 2000 and was independent from 2000 through 2003 before playing in the Big East from 2004 through 2012. They would join the American Athletic Conference in 2013 and play in the conference until 2019 before returning to being independent in 2020.

It’s unclear if the Big 12 is looking to add UConn on a football-only basis or if they would join for all sports. Currently, the Big 12 has a small foothold in the Mid-Atlantic / eastern portion of the Midwest with Cincinnati and West Virginia. The conference which historically was made up of schools located in the Midwest has grown its footprint with conference expansion as noted above with hopes of being able to survive the blow of losing Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC starting in 2024.

Ranking Big 12 running backs ahead of the 2023 season

We’re checking in on the Big 12 running backs with our early power rankings.

The Big 12 was chock full of talent at the running back position a season ago.

Bijan Robinson (Texas), Roschon Johnson (Texas), Eric Gray (Oklahoma, Deuce Vaughn (Kansas State), and Kendre Miller (TCU) are all gone from this group. Still, the conference has a lot of talent across the board with four new teams joining the fray in 2023.

While teams lose a lot of production, most are still in good shape when it comes to the depth chart at the position. The teams might not have the name power of Bijan or Deuce, most of these running backs should be household names by season’s end.

College Sports Wire projected who will start for each team, and where they should end up being in 2023.

Big 12 looking to expand to Mexico by 2025 season

The Big 12 continues to look for ways to extend the brand.

Big 12 sports are going to look quite a bit different in the very near future. After striking up a deal with the histoic Rucker Park in New York, the commissioner is looking to take things internationally.

According to a report from Brandon Marcello of 247Sports, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark is aiming to bring select football and basketball games to Monterrey and Mexico City, Mexico, as early as the 2025 season. This means it will be part of the post-Oklahoma and Texas era of Big 12 sports.

“It’s a critically important market,” Yormark said to 247Sports. “It’s becoming an event capital when you think of professional sports — F1, NBA, Major League Baseball, the NFL. Geographically, it is certainly on the heels of our conference footprint with 22 million consumers.”

The announcement is expected to come in the next couple of weeks according to the Big 12 commish. The news comes off the heels of reports that the conference will provide more access to players and coaches as early as this upcoming season.

The in-game interviews that are part of the new plan, have been seen during the USFL’s coverage. Getting an inside look from players and coaches will do wonders for the sport as far as coverage and growing the brand of the Big 12.

It appears that this conference is looking to be the innovative leader among the Power Five conferences moving forward.

Breaking down the favorites, dark horses for every Power Five conference

Favorites and Dark Horses, who do you got in each Power Five conference?

The 2023 college football season will be upon us before you know it. Spring football finished up last week which leaves only summer camps before the start of the season.

There are storylines galore as we approach the next season. What do we make of all the movement from the coaching carousel to the transfer portal?

The Colorado Buffaloes are currently dominating the headlines when it comes to the transfer portal. Head coach Deion Sanders has purged the roster and taking his pick of guys in the transfer portal. It probably doesn’t equate to immediate success on the field, but then again Michigan State saw plenty of success when they added to their roster in 2021 finishing 11-2. But what the Buffs are doing is on another level.

While they might not be in the thick of the Pac-12 race, teams such as the USC Trojans and Oregon State Beavers expect to be. With plenty of questions yet to be answered, we are going to try and make sense of it all with the favorites and dark horses for the upcoming season.

Paul Myerberg of USA TODAY Sports made his picks for the favorites and dark horses for every conference in FBS. Our focus today is on the Power Five, who have made up 33 of the 36 College Football Playoff selections. Notre Dame (Independent) and Cincinnati (AAC) are the only non-Power Five teams to make the CFP. This year the Bearcats join the Big 12 along with the Houston Cougars, BYU Cougars, and UCF Knights.

We break down each of Myerberg’s picks with spring football all wrapped up.

Post spring Big 12 quarterback rankings for 2023

Where each of the 14 QBs rank for the Big 12 following spring ball.

We’re moving onto the Big 12 in our post-spring rankings series. There are plenty of gunslingers to highlight as we march toward the 2023 college football season.

Dillion Gabriel of Oklahoma and Quinn Ewers of Texas look to lead their team to the Big 12 Championship game before the Sooners and Longhorns head to the SEC. Both have five-star backups ready to get an opportunity if either has injury concerns in 2023. Texas has the Manning family scion, Arch. While the Sooners took top Texas quarterback Jackson Arnold.

Oklahoma and Texas will command plenty of the headlines while the remaining 12 teams look to send them out of the conference on a sour note. Kansas State returns Will Howard, who led them to the conference title a year ago. TCU will start Chandler Morris again, hoping he can stay healthy this time.

Check out our initial power rankings for the Big 12 quarterbacks with spring football all wrapped up.

Big 12 Conference to partner with historic Rucker Park

The Big 12 announced a partnership with historic Rucker Park.

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark certainly hasn’t forgotten his New York roots. Ahead of Kansas State’s Sweet 16 matchup against Michigan State in Madison Square Garden, the conference announced a partnership that will bring Big 12 basketball to historic Rucker Park.

This announcement comes off the heels of the Big 12 announcing a conference-wide NFL pro day at the Dallas Cowboys practice facilities in Frisco, Texas, near conference headquarters.

“Rucker Park is one of the great landmarks in basketball and is a cultural icon – we are excited to be able to bring Big 12 Basketball to its court,” said Commissioner Brett Yormark in a statement from the conference. “We are committed to growing the Conference’s footprint in a variety of ways, and we want kids across New York City to experience Big 12 Basketball first-hand.”

“Big 12 coaching clinics at New York City’s Rucker Park is an iconic collaboration,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “I’m thrilled that through this partnership, our young people will have the chance to learn from some of the best in the business, bringing Big 12 basketball right to their front door.”

One thing Yormark has shown in his short tenure is that he has the propensity to push the envelope.