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Report: Big 12 and Pac-12 End Merger Talks After Two Weeks

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The Big 12 Conference and Pac-12 Conference have ended talks about a potential merger after two weeks as first reported by Pete Thamel of ESPN. Thamel released his report on Monday night.

The two conferences have discussed a merger for the past two weeks following UCLA and USC’s announcement to depart the Pac-12 for the Big Ten by 2024. The Big 12 and Pac-12 met on Zoom “at least three times” for a lengthy meeting. In the end, the Big 12 told Pac-12 officials that they were no longer interested in partnering together.

This is very poetic for the Big 12 after what seemed like the downfall of the conference last summer. Once Texas and Oklahoma announced their allegiance with the SEC, it was rumored that the Pac-12 would take some of the scraps from the Big 12.

The Pac-12 was in agreement with the Big Ten and ACC to have an alliance together, leaving the Big 12 out of the fun. The Big 12 countered with adding BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF. Now the Pac-12 is in dire need to stay alive in a quickly shifting conference realignment structure.

Pac-12 officials believe that all of the remaining schools in the conference are committed to sticking together because the Big 12’s media rights can’t be negotiated until 2024.

Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah have reportedly had the most interest in joining the Big 12 Conference with the thought that Oregon and Washington would be interested if the Big Ten passes on them. If the six Pac-12 schools each choose to join the conference, the Big 12 would become the biggest Power-5 conference in the country with 18 teams.

As this next conference realignment is a day-to-day mystery, only time will tell what happens. But for now, the Big 12 has the advantage over the Pac-12.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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