July 27 update: It is official: the Buffs are back in the Big 12. Here’s the statement from the commissioner. The move is expected to take place in 2024 as Oklahoma and Texas depart for the SEC.
Big 12 statement on Colorado:— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) July 27, 2023
"They're back." pic.twitter.com/aPoPTDjSJj
Colorado, a longtime Big Eight and Big 12 member, might be planning a return to its old conference. The Buffaloes are in talks with the Big 12 to rejoin the conference, according to Pete Thamel.
Sources: Colorado is in discussions about a move to the Big 12, and the school has just completed a board meeting and scheduled another for tomorrow to discuss the move. The Big 12 is also holding a presidents meeting tonight where there's expected to be an expansion update.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 26, 2023
As the Pac-12 continues to stall on a new media deal and has seen powerhouses UCLA and USC depart, peripheral members like Colorado are starting to explore options. The Buffaloes joined the Pac-12 in 2011 as expansion first started to threaten the Big 12 but now the script has flipped. The Big 12 will add Cincinnati, Houston BYU and UCF this season, and is going to need more muscle once the SEC officially welcomes in Oklahoma and Texas. Colorado doesn’t exactly fit that bill just yet, but Deion Sanders could turn this program around quickly.
This is a bad development for the Pac-12, which is surely close to dissolving entirely as a conference once UCLA and USC are gone. Oregon and Washington could also be on the way out, and adding Mountain West teams might not be enough to save the group. We’ll see if Colorado is the first of many dominoes to fall in the Pac-12, or if the Buffaloes decides to stay put and stick it out.