Big 12 announces Arizona, Arizona State and Utah as new members

ByPete Thamel ESPN logo
Saturday, August 5, 2023
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The Big 12 Conference announces Arizona, Arizona State and Utah as new members, completing its raid of the Pac-12.

This is a breaking news topper, original story follows below.

The latest realignment ripple has hit its first formal stages, as sources tell ESPN that both Utah and Arizona State have applied to the Big 12 for formal membership.

The application for membership is a necessary first step for schools to be approved to switch leagues and sets the table for Utah, Arizona State and Arizona to join the Big 12 in the near future.

On Friday evening, the Big 12 presidents and chancellors are expected to meet to discuss and likely vote in both ASU and Utah. It's a process that Arizona went through on Wednesday, as the school applied and voted in to become members after applying.

Arizona's membership still has yet to be officially formalized, as the three schools are expected to come in together. The announcement could come either Friday or Saturday, as there's an urgency on both sides to push through after a chaotic Friday that saw Oregon and Washington leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.

Once they are vetted and formalized, the potential additions Arizona, ASU and Utah to the Big 12 will leave the Pac-12 with just four schools.

Colorado was the first Pac-12 school to leave for the Big 12 in this most recent spree, as the Buffalos left last week. With USC and UCLA announcing their exit last year, eight total schools have left the league in a span of nearly 18 months.

Soon after taking over the Big 12 and jumping the Pac-12 chronologically to complete a television rights extension, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark began targeting the so-called "corner schools" for membership.

If the final three corner schools are formalized in the upcoming days, it would build the Big 12 out to a 16-team conference. It would be the same size as the SEC and two smaller than the 18-team Big Ten. The ACC has 14 full-time football members.