Update (7/20/22): There are multiple reports of meetings being held by Arizona, Colorado, and Utah who are discussing the Big 12 Application.
Update (7/18/22): The Pac 12 and the Big 12 will not be merging conferences after several meetings. The Big 12 will pursue individual schools like first reported. Here is the tweet from Brett McMurphy:
Iowa State's conference, the Big 12 is rumored to be in deep discussions to add up to 6 teams from the Pac 12 conference according to CBS Sports. These additions would take place in the 2024-25 season according to Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark. The teams mentioned specifically by the Big 12 are Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado. Additional strong considerations include Oregon and Washington, two powerhouses from the PAC 12. However, there is talks of these two schools still looking for an invitation from the BIG 10 conference. Oregon and Washington will most likely wait for a decision from Notre Dame on wether they want to stay independent or join a conference before they make a decision. A Big 12 source has said, "Everything is a possibility" so we have no set in stone information. The possibility of a Big 12 and Pac 12 merger is still on the table but not likely. It is obvious the Big 12 needed to make a move with the additions that the Big 10 and SEC are making, and that is exactly what they have done.
What this would mean for Iowa State:
With the additional teams, the Big 12 would continue to extend into the Mountain time zone, extending the reach of the Big 12 but making travel slightly more difficult. However, with the increase in money for these programs over the last few years, this is not much of an issue. Also, it will be interesting to see how the schedule is made up and if the conference splits into divisions. Will Iowa State keep many of the same opponents that they are playing right now for their football schedule, or will it get shaken up completely? Also, will they now only play each conference opponent once each year with 18 or more teams, or will teams still play home and home series each year? Gamblin' Gauchos on twitter have already released their idea for the expanded 18 team Big 12, but splitting the conference up into 3 Pods of 6 teams. Here is their twitter Idea: