Updated: Aug 4
Update 8/4/2023: Arizona is finalizing a move to the Big 12, joining Colorado as the latest team to move to the Big 12. The Wildcats will be the 14th team in the Big 12 starting in 2024. Arizona will make the Big 12 even more of a juggernaut in basketball as a continual top-25 school each year. Arizona State and Utah are also looking at the move to the Big 12 as the Pac-12 looks like it is exploding.
Update 7/26/2023: A year later, Colorado is set to make the move to the Big 12, expected to be announced tomorrow. With the Pac-12 having multiple teams leaving for the Big 10 in USC and UCLA, Colorado was looking for a new home and has seemed to find it in the Big 12. Colorado will be the 13th team in 2024 with Texas and Oklahoma's departure, opening up at least one more spot for another team to join the Big 12. Colorado has been making huge moves lately, including the mega deal they signed with Hall of Famer Deion Sanders to be their head football coach. He will compete in Big 12 football starting in 2024.
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: