FILE - This Aug. 29, 2019, file photo shows the PAC-12 logo at Sun Devil Stadium during second half of an NCAA college football game between Arizona State and Kent State in Tempe, Ariz. There are 130 major college football teams, spread across 41 states and competing in 10 conferences, save for a handful of independents. The goal is to have all those teams start the upcoming season at the same time — whether that's around Labor Day as scheduled or later — and play the same number of games.(AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

Colorado Departs Pac-12 Leaving Conference’s Future Uncertain

One of the biggest college football storylines this past season had to do with the coaching career of all-time great Deion Sanders. After an incredible season with HBCU Jackson State, Coach Prime made the move to the Pac-12 to be the head coach of Colorado. Sanders is entering his first season and will take over a Buffalo team that went 1-11 in 2022. He is immediately making an impact through transfers such as Travis Hunter Shedeur Sanders, Coach Prime’s son.

Recently, however, Coach Prime has taken a bit of a backseat to the latest Colorado Buffalo news, as the team has now decided to switch conferences entirely. Big 12 executives voted unanimously Wednesday night to accept Colorado as a new member and the school will join the conference in 2024. Colorado joined the Pac-12 in 2011 and the program has had only one full winning season since joining the Pac-12.  Colorado was an original member of the Big 12 in 1996.

Conference Consequences

This conference swap is one of many this impending season, joining Texas and Oklahoma in their trek over to another group of teams for conference play. Big 12 leadership has also discussed the possibility of trying to add UConn and Gonzaga. This season is historic in not only the amount of teams taking trips over to other locations, but also the ability of the players to switch conferences as well. Other reporters speculate that the trend of Pac-12 teams leaving the conference will only increase as the years go on, with possible candidates such as Arizona and Arizona State speculated to depart their home conference as well.

This increase in autonomy will be an interesting aspect of college sports to comment on in five to 10 years once the dust settles on all of these moves. As it stands right now, the Pac-12 in general does not look like they are doing well. USC and UCLA are preparing to move to the Big Ten, and with the recent Colorado news, more teams may follow. A merger seems likely, with the most likely outcome being the development of super-conferences that oversee as many as 32 teams, as many speculate.

About Tyler Kenyon

Tyler Kenyon is a Tampa, FL native who is a third-year journalism and business student at the University of Florida.

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