The Big 12 reportedly spent Tuesday meeting with representatives from multiple Pac-12 schools, and Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports says it was more than just pleasantries.
According to Dodd, the Big 12 is “involved in deep discussions” with at least four Pac-12 members and could consider adding as many as six. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah are the four schools that are widely considered the likeliest candidates to exit the Pac-12 and join the Big 12, but Dodd reported that Oregon and Washington may also get poached.
Last week, USC and UCLA shook the college football landscape with the announcement that they are going to leave the Pac-12 to become the newest members of the Big Ten in 2024. Oregon and Washington reportedly aimed to follow the Los Angeles schools, but were rebuffed by the Big Ten while it waits to see if it can add Notre Dame.
On Monday, Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde reported that Notre Dame joining the Big Ten is possible, but “independence remains the preference” for the university, which has competed without a conference for almost all of its storied history. If it doesn’t, the Big Ten could stand pat with 16 members and leave Oregon and Washington on the outside looking in.
Meanwhile, the Pac-12 says it has begun to “explore all expansion options.”