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Colorado, Big 12 Reportedly in 'Substantive' Talks After Deion Sanders Hire

Scott Polacek

What's old might become new again.

Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reported Tuesday that Colorado has held "substantive" talks with its former conference, the Big 12, about a potential return. Those talks have apparently included face-to-face meetings as the Buffaloes consider a potential exit from the Pac-12.

Dodd noted a move away from the Pac-12 is not a surefire thing and explained the school is "performing due diligence" and is "in wait-and-see mode regarding a new media rights deal that has yet to be solidified."

The uncertainty regarding the media rights deal for the Pac-12 is notable.

Dodd explained the Buffaloes would be in line to receive an equal media rights share of $31.7 million starting in 2025 if they returned to the Big 12, which will provide such shares to expansion teams if they are currently a Power Five team.

Perhaps with that in mind, Dodd also suggested Colorado leaving could "create a domino effect leading to the other Four Corners schools—Arizona, Arizona State and Utah—fleeing for the Big 12 as well."

Such exits, when paired with the impending departure of powerhouse programs USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, would be quite the blow for the Pac-12 and its ability to be taken seriously in future College Football Playoff discussions.

Then there is Colorado's new football coach, who reportedly will be a significant deciding factor if a move is made:

"I have no comment other than what I said last week," Colorado athletic director Rick George said. "We are proud members of the Pac-12. In a perfect world, we'd love to be in the Pac-12, but we also have to do what is right for Colorado at the end of the day."

The Buffaloes were in the Big 7/Big 8/Big 12 in football from 1948 through 2010 and were among the best teams in the nation for some years in that stretch. They won double-digit games five times in eight years from 1989 through 1996.

Yet the program has trended in the wrong direction since it joined the Pac-12 in the 2011 season.

Colorado is an ugly 48-94 overall since joining the league, although there is reason for optimism with the hiring of new head coach Deion Sanders. The Pro Football Hall of Famer has revamped the roster this offseason and will look to turn things around rather quickly.


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