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Big 12 'Open for Business' Amid Pac-12 Rumors, Commissioner Brett Yormark Says

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 13, 2022

Edward Diller/Getty Images

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark confirmed the conference is open to further expansion with the Pac-12 reeling from the departures of USC and UCLA.

"We are exploring all options, and we are open for business," Yormark told reporters Wednesday. "I think it's fair to say I've received a lot of phone calls, a lot of interest. Nothing is imminent."

CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reported July 5 the Big 12 was "involved in deep discussions to add multiple Pac-12 programs." Dodd cited Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah as potential targets.

The Big 12's current media rights deal expires following the 2024-25 academic year. Naturally, the conference's next contract is a focal point for Yormark:

Nick Moyle @NRMoyle

Yormark on future multimedia rights negations: "I'm bullish on the conference. And what we look like today and what we look like when we enter those negations could be very different. But I'm looking forward to that moment."

Max Olson @max_olson

Brett Yormark says he's had a working relationship with ESPN and FOX for many years. He's looking forward to negotiations and "how we can enhance and amplify the value equation."

Referencing his "open for business" remark, Yormark clarified it applies to a general mindset:

Brett McMurphy @Brett_McMurphy

Big 12 commish Brett Yormark: “Open for business means I’ll receive any call from anyone. (It’s) not just (about) conference realignment but everything we do. It has to create value for all the right reasons. We’re in a great place. The question is where do we go next?”

At this point, it looks increasingly likely the best athletic programs will be split between two superconferences, not unlike American professional sports. The question is how long it'll take to get there.

Losing Texas and Oklahoma could be a massive blow for the Big 12's bottom line. For now, the conference seems to be in a position of relative strength compared to the Pac-12 and even the ACC, which from a football standpoint is hugely dependent upon Clemson.

The Big 12 still has Baylor and Oklahoma State, who both ended the 2022 college football season in the Associated Press Top 10. Cincinnati, BYU, Houston and UCF are coming aboard in 2023 as well, which will provide further depth.

Nobody will be too surprised if the Big 12 is no more in five or 10 years from now given how much the landscape has shifted already. But Yormark seems to have the right approach toward protecting the conference's long-term survival.

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