Report: Big 12, Pac-12 End Talks About Partnership amid Conference Realignment

Doric SamJuly 19, 2022

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 08:  Detail view of three NFL footballs on the sideline before the game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Buffalo defeats New York 17-16.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Big 12 and Pac-12 have reportedly ended talks about a potential partnership amid the ever-changing landscape of conference realignment.

According to ESPN's Pete Thamel, Big 12 officials informed Pac-12 officials on Monday that "they're no longer interested in exploring the partnership."

The two conferences have reportedly had extensive talks regarding a possible partnership over the past two weeks. Thamel stated that there were at least three Zoom calls between top league officials from both sides to discuss different options.

The deal didn't work for the Big 12 for "a multitude of reasons" including the fact that it wouldn't have generated much revenue for the conference, a source told Thamel. The two sides reportedly discussed fully combining the leagues, which Big 12 officials viewed as "the only scenario that could have potentially driven value."

A Pac-12 source told Thamel the Big 12 was the one that had been interested in a full merger, but a Big 12 source told him the conference took time over the weekend to explore the option before deciding not to move forward with talks Monday. However, the Pac-12 source said their side was always skeptical about the prospect of combining the leagues.

"Because the Big 12 media rights can't be negotiated until 2024, Pac-12 schools have no motivation to join the Big 12," the Pac-12 source said. "The Pac-12 has announced that they're staying together and are in the middle of media rights negotiations."

Both conferences are exploring options amid a ton of movement among conferences. USC and UCLA recently announced plans to join the Big Ten. Texas and Oklahoma are set to join the SEC in 2025.