Utah has officially joined the Big 12 Conference.

The Big 12 announced the additions of Utah, Arizona and Arizona State on Friday evening shortly after the University of Utah’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously for the school to join the conference.

“We are thrilled to welcome Arizona, Arizona State and Utah to the Big 12,” Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said in a press release. “The Conference is gaining three premier institutions both academically and athletically, and the entire Big 12 looks forward to working alongside their presidents, athletic directors, student-athletes and administrators.”

The Deseret News confirmed that Utah will receive a full TV media rights revenue share when they join the Big 12.

Utah will start play in the Big 12 in the 2024-25 academic year. The 16-team Big 12 will be comprised of Baylor, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State.

“President (Taylor) Randall and I, along with the executive committee of the Board of Trustees, have been fully engaged in pursuing the best possible path for the University of Utah and our athletics programs to excel,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan said in a press release.

“After very thorough and comprehensive efforts to preserve our present conference affiliation in the aftermath of the announced departures of UCLA and USC last year, we have explored all options and have determined that the right path for Utah to continue to build on its tremendous growth trajectory is to accept an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference.”

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A whirlwind two weeks have resulted in the collapse of a 108-year-old Pac-12 Conference.

How did we get to this point?

The domino effect to this moment started in 2021, when Texas and Oklahoma announced their move from the Big 12 to the SEC. That triggered the Big 12 to add BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston that same year.

Getting in on the expansion arms race, the Big Ten added USC and UCLA from the Pac-12 in 2022. Without the giant Los Angeles TV market and two marquee programs, the value of the Pac-12’s next media deal shrunk, as evidenced by Pac-12 media deal negotiations that have dragged on for over a year.

Then Yormark beat Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff to the media deal punch last fall, securing a nearly $2.3 billion media deal with ESPN and Fox that reportedly will pay out $31.6 million to each of its schools when it takes effect in 2025.

Despite what Kliavkoff said at Pac-12 media day this July, the conference’s options for a media deal did not get better the longer it waited.

On Tuesday, several news outlets reported presidents from the nine remaining Pac-12 members gathered to discuss the league’s media deal, which was primarily an Apple TV streaming option. That deal reportedly included less base annual revenue distribution than the Big 12’s media rights agreement, which featured linear TV partners Fox and ESPN.

Working on the assumption that Apple would have rights to the best games, locking the Pac-12’s marquee games behind a subscription paywall, plus the lower base pay compared to the Big 12, made the deal tough to swallow.

No media deal was agreed to and no grant of rights was signed.

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Colorado didn’t stick around long enough to hear Kliavkoff’s pitch, voting last week to go back to the Big 12.

The Big Ten pounced following Tuesday’s Pac-12 meeting, inviting Oregon and Washington to join. The two schools’ board of trustees approved the switch to join USC and UCLA in the Big Ten on Friday.

Oregon and Washington officially announced their move to the Big Ten, which will take place after this season.

The Pac-12 is now down to four schools — Stanford, Cal, Washington State and Oregon State.

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