The Big 12 might be content not expanding.
Ever since UCLA and USC agreed to join the Big Ten starting in 2024, there has been nonstop realignment chatter, and many have viewed the PAC-12 as primed and ready to be raided by the B1G and Big 12.
If Stanford, Washington, Cal and Oregon jump to the Big Ten, the Big 12 could swoop in and snag Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah.
However, conference commissioner Brett Yormark is okay with the Big 12 not making any moves if that’s ultimately the best option on the table.
“I love our conference. I’ve said this before, I think we’re very aligned. That was reaffirmed on this recent campus tour. I’ve got a couple of more schools I need to visit, but the energy, the enthusiasm, the like-mindedness. It’s been fantastic. And I sensed that early on when I engaged with the board, but I’ve really sensed it and felt it when I’ve been on campus. So no, to answer your question, we don’t have to expand. Again, we’ll consider every and all options to better position this conference for the long haul,” Yormark told the press Thursday, according to ESPN.
Previously, Yormark made it clear if the Big 12 does expand, the western part of the country is where the conference will look.
“Obviously, going out west is where I would like to go, entering that fourth time zone. A program that has national recognition, one that competes at the highest level in basketball and football, stands for the right things, is a good cultural fit,” he said just a day earlier when talking about what the Big 12 would look for in new partners.
It’s worth nothing that while expansion and realignment talk is definitely still ongoing, momentum seems to have slowed for the time being.
The next major domino to fall will be whether or not a PAC-12 team, one of the four noted above, jumps to the Big Ten. If that happens, the PAC-12 will almost certainly collapse and teams will scramble for safe landing spots.
However, until that happens, there’s no guarantee there’s any more movement in the near future. If things hold steady, it sounds like Yormark and the Big 12 will be just fine.