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BREAKING: Arizona State finally applies for formal Big 12 membership

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Arizona State and Utah have formally applied for membership to the Big 12 after days of speculation, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

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There will reportedly be a call tonight with the Big 12’s presidents and chancellors to discuss their membership, which would begin in 2024. They are expected to join within the next 24 hours, according to Action Network’s Brett McMurphy. 

Arizona was approved to join by the conference yesterday. The Wildcats and Sun Devils were seemingly given the green light from the Arizona Board of Regents last night to move.

ASU President Michael Crow has finally officially caved to the falling of the conference, as ASU now waits to be accepted as soon as tonight.

The move follows Oregon and Washington leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten this morning after the Pac-12 held a meeting with the remaining schools to attempt to sign a Grant of Rights for a TV deal with Apple, which did not happen.

BREAKING: Oregon and Washington put final nail in coffin for Pac-12 and join Big Ten

Now, Arizona, ASU and Utah will seemingly all make the jump together after rumors of it for the past week+. They will join Colorado in the move next year, giving the Big 12 16 schools.

I wrote everything and more that needs to be known about this move yesterday (some things have changed, but a lot carries over):

The rollercoaster of the last two days of realignment, Pac-12 and ASU future news

See a timeline of a wild day of realignment news here that all led up to this for the Sun Devils:

Tracker of Pac-12, Big 12 and Big Ten realignment news (August 4)

Once this becomes official, we will have a lot more in-depth analysis of the move.

What I will share now is this:

The better deal with the Big 12

USC and UCLA announced they were leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten all the way back on June 30 of last year. The conference announced just a week later, on July 5, that they were opening negotiations for a new TV rights deal, as their current one ends on June 30, 2024. 

Even though the Big 12’s current TV contract ended a year after the Pac-12, the conference announced it was starting negotiations after the Pac-12 and got a massive $2.2 billion deal with Fox and ESPN through 2031 agreed upon quickly.

This was perhaps the biggest blow to the Pac-12 getting numbers, as the Big 12 jumped ahead of them to get this deal done. The Pac-12 likely had a similar deal on the table before, but Kliavkoff and leadership wanted more money, which never came.

No hard numbers from the Pac-12’s “negotiations” were ever presented until Tuesday, despite numerous reports of when they would be announced. The major reports dated all the way back to the beginning of this year with some minor reports last year.

On Tuesday, the nine remaining teams in the conference met and were finally presented the TV rights deal. To say the least, it was not what they wanted, as the best of the three packages presented was with Apple and around 80% streaming where teams would get paid around $24.5 million on the high end, according to 247 Sports’ Jason Scheer.

The deal actually ended up expiring at today, so the nine teams met with one last chance to sign the Grant of Rights this morning. That did not end up happening.

In terms of money, the Big 12 will likely offer a full media rights share of $31.7 million to any Power Five team that joins starting in 2025, according to Action Networks’ Brett McMurphy. It is definitive that the ESPN part of the deal carries over, it’s just a matter of if Fox wants their part to carry over also, but it is reportedly likely that they will allow it. 

So, ASU and Arizona would be getting more money and less streaming, which is exactly what Arizona has been vouching for and finally convinced ASU as well.

This tweet sums up what happened earlier today, but it is still very much applicable:

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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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