In a stunning but albeit expected move, Arizona and Arizona State decided to leave the Pac-12 Conference and join up with the Big 12 Conference. The conference switch will begin with the 2024-2025 season and leaves the future of the Pac-12 in doubt.
Arizona State President Michael Crow told reporters on Friday;
“We are excited for this new chapter, a move that is necessary to remain competitive in top-tier Division 1 athletics. We are joining a premier athletic conference and bringing with us programs on the rise, our rich traditions and history, and the metro Phoenix media market. We’re in a good spot, and we are pleased to be with Arizona and Utah in the move.
Crow continued: “We will always have fond memories of the Pac-12 conference, and this move will not change our appreciation of more than 40 years of experiences, rivalries, partnerships, and traditions. But now, it is the right time for change.”
What the Big 12 Conference Will Look Like in 2024
The Big 12 will become a crowded conference with 16 schools from four different time zones. The Big 12 is expected to feature the following universities in 2024:
Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor Bears, BYU Cougars, Cincinnati Bearcats, Colorado Buffaloes, Houston Cougars, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Oklahoma State Cowboys, TCU Horned Frogs, Texas Tech Red Raiders, West Virginia Mountaineers, UCF Knights, and Utah.
Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormack stated in a press release that;
“We are thrilled to welcome Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah to the Big 12. The conference is gaining three premier institutions both academically and athletically, and the entire Big 12 looks forward to working alongside their presidents, athletic directors, student-athletes, and administrators.”
Arizona Wildcats Head Football Coach Jedd Fisch told Tucson.com he informed his players that they were “literally living through history” and that “If you think about the guys that played college football from, let’s call it 2020 to 2025, you lived through a pandemic and how that worked in college football — the uniqueness in playing in front of no one. You went through transfer portal rules that nobody ever thought would ever happen.
You started getting paid, and now you’re sitting there looking at conferences that were historically a group of 12, 10, 10, 12 — whatever they were — turning into 16-team mega-conferences,” he said. “The Big Ten is getting bigger and bigger, from what I understand. The SEC is doing their deal, bringing in Texas and Oklahoma. Whatever happens with us will happen with us. It’s a change. Everything is just new. It’s truly a new frontier of college football,” Fisch added. “I love it.”
How the Wildcats and Sun Devils Move Affects the Betting Odds
The move shouldn’t affect the betting odds very much for this football season. Neither Arizona nor ASU is expected to win the Pac-12 football championship, but knowing it’s their last season in a conference that neither aren’t expected to win many games could provide some motivation to leave the Pac-12 with a bang.
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