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:
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.