Jul 14, 2022 - Sports

CU football conference hangs in the balance

An American football player in a white jersey tackles a football player in a light-blue jersey during a nighttime college football game.

CU safety Isaiah Lewis tackles UCLA running back Brittain Brown during a game in Pasadena, California, in 2021. Photo: Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

CU football has enjoyed five winning seasons in the past 20 years. Now the Buffs face a new off-field challenge: conference realignment.

Catch up quick: The University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, two marquee football programs, revealed late last month that they would bolt from the Pac-12 conference to join the Big Ten, a league across the country.

  • And it wasn't hard to pinpoint their reason for leaving: money.
  • What was once "amateur athletics" is now a TV show — and one of the few that still drive ratings, Axios' Kendall Baker writes.

State of play: A week later, CBS Sports reported that CU and three other Pac-12 schools were allegedly targeted by the Big 12 — the league CU abandoned in 2011 to join the Pac-12.

Yes, but: Later that week, a Sports Illustrated report suggested that the remaining Pac-12 schools will stay in place.

  • A few days before the report, CU's chancellor and athletic director released a statement reaffirming the school's "commitment" to its conference.

Buzz: On Wednesday, sports journalist Jon Wilner, who covers the Pac-12 closely, said an unnamed source told him they wouldn't be surprised if the Pac-12 goes the entire season without a resolution.

The bottom line: If we are to believe the short but official statement from the university, the Buffaloes are staying put in the Pac-12, and likely missing out on the potential "mega-conferences" forming in the Big Ten and the Southeast Conference (SEC).


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