Big 12 announces Arizona, Arizona State and Utah join conference as Pac-12 continues to crumble

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The Big 12 Board of Directors announced Friday they have voted unanimously to add Arizona, Arizona State and Utah into their conference. 

The Pac-12’s dissolution continues with three of their schools joining the Big 12, making 16 total schools in the conference for the 2024-25 school year. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Arizona, Arizona State and Utah to the Big 12,” commissioner Brett Yormark said in a statement. “The conference is gaining three premier institutions both academically and athletically, and the entire Big 12 looks forward to working alongside their presidents, athletic directors, student-athletes and administrators.”

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The Arizona Wildcats flag

The Arizona Wildcats student section holds up a flag during the second half of the NCCAF game at Arizona Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. The Lumberjacks defeated the Wildcats 21-19.  (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Pac-12 also released a statement of their own after losing three more of their schools. 

“Today’s news is incredibly disappointing for student-athletes, fans, alumni and staff of the Pac-12 who cherish the over 100-year history, tradition and rivalries of the Conference of Champions. We remain focused on securing the best possible future for each of our member universities.”

OREGON, WASHINGTON FINALIZING DEALS TO JOIN BIG TEN AS PAC-12 CONTINUES TO DISSOLVE: REPORT

All three schools detached from the Pac-12, as the conference has quickly dissolved. Oregon and Washington State were also reported to be finalizing a deal to join the Big Ten, with a vote of their own expected on Friday. 

That vote also appears to be a formality, as it’s expected to be unanimous much like the Big 12’s. 

Oregon and Washington will be joining USC and UCLA in the Big Ten, which will have a record 18 schools under its umbrella. They will also be starting competition during the 2024-25 school year. 

Utah Utes logo

The Utah Utes logo on a tent before the college football game between the Utah Utes and the Arizona State Sun Devils on September 24, 2022 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.  (Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Finally, Colorado was the first Pac-12 school to leave for the Big 12 during this massive dissolution of the storied conference, leaving last week. USC and UCLA made their decision to jump ship last year. 

The future of the Pac-12 is in serious question, as one of the keys to its peril is their TV deal expiring after the 2023-24 school year. Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark from the Pac-12 to his current post, and has been going after these schools ever since for membership. 

COLORADO TO DEPART PAC-12, RETURN TO BIG 12 CONFERENCE IN 2024-2025

California, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State are the only schools certain to remain in the Pac-12 moving forward. And while Mountain West schools could be courted to save the Pac-12, they would have to pay a $32 million exit fee to leave the Mountain West. 

It’s truly a new era of college sports, as the Big 12, Big Ten, an even the SEC who add Texas and Oklahoma to its ranks in 2024, turn the page for new rivalries and competition. 

Arizona State and Utah helmets

Helmets from the Arizona State Sun Devils and Utah Utes side by side (Getty Images)

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Meanwhile, the century-old Pac-12 is searching for answers to keep their storied conference afloat. 

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