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With Colorado gone from the Pac-12, is Arizona State next?

© Megan Mendoza/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWOR

“The longer we wait for a media deal, the better our options get,” Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said at Pac-12 Football Media Day last Friday.

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Well, one school, Colorado, was tired of waiting less than a week after this was said and jumped ship to the Big 12.

BREAKING: Colorado reportedly leaving Pac-12, joining Big 12 in 2024

The Buffaloes made the official announcement today after a Colorado Board of Regents meeting where the regents had a unanimous 9-0 vote in favor of the move.

Colorado’s move away from the Pac-12 makes total sense from a stability standpoint, and other schools, like Arizona State, are probably taking notice of this as well. The Buffaloes receive a full share of the Big 12 media rights deal ($31.7 million), while they weren’t promised anything from the Pac-12 after this year because the media rights deal ends in 2024.

In terms of the nine remaining schools in the conference, the Pac-12’s media rights deal will be even harder to reach with even less schools.

According to the story by Action Network’s Brett McMurphy, “Colorado’s departure for the Big 12 could start an exodus of more Pac-12 schools to the Big 12, sources said. The most likely candidates are Arizona, Arizona State and Utah.”

“Officials at Arizona State and Utah also have had informal conversations with Big 12 representatives and officials, sources said,” McMurphy writes. Arizona is the school that makes the most sense to leave right now because ASU and Utah have both said they are committed to the Pac-12. The Wildcats have been up in the air the last few months and have said they will not make any public decisions until there is clarity with the Pac-12’s TV deal, as ESPN’s Pete Thamel points out.

Washington and Oregon, arguably the two biggest names left in the Pac-12, had meetings with the Big 10 last August, per McMurphy.

If the Pac-12 were to disband, it could look something like this:

Arizona State needs to take a hard look to figure out what is best for the university. Athletic director Ray Anderson has been persistent in saying they are committed to the conference, but Colorado’s move could change their mind. Joining the Big 12 is the option that makes the most sense.

The Sun Devils have been part of the Pac-12 since 1978 back when it was the Pac-10 after they and Arizona joined the conference from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

Here is a good tweet on some options the conference could consider moving forward.

The Pac-12 will be holding a meeting later today with commissioner Kliavkoff, the conference’s CEO Group and athletic directors, according to 247 Sports.

Kliavkoff said at Pac-12 Football Media Day that the conference would not be open to realignment until a new media rights deal is signed. However, the conference now needs to expand as quickly as possible if they want to attempt to get a semi-decent media rights deal, if that is still possible. The worst thing that could come out of the meeting is Kliavkoff saying that the conference was surprised of Colorado’s departure.

There is so much uncertainty about the future of the Pac-12, and the conference needs to answer questions of the next steps soon before it’s too late.

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff: media rights deal coming in “near future”

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Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on Twitter via @Brendan_Mau

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