Talks over possible Pac-12-Big 12 merger break down: report

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Partnership talks between Pac-12 and Big 12 fail, ending immediate expectations potential merger of two college football conferences. Pac-12 and Big 12 sources in talks with ESPN baseball analyst Pete Thamel dismissed their interests as negotiations came to a close.

“Officers from the Big 12 told Pac-12 officials on Monday they were no longer interested in exploring the partnership,” ESPN reported.

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A general view of the PAC-12 logo in midfield prior to the PAC-12 Football Championship football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium on December 3, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A general view of the PAC-12 logo in midfield prior to the PAC-12 Football Championship football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium on December 3, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Photo by Aliki Jenner/Getty Images)

According to Source Big 12the conference sought a full merger with Pac-12, “the only scenario that could potentially add value due to the sheer number of schools and population.”

The source cited “multiple reasons” why the talks failed. “It just didn’t work,” the spokesperson added.

Both parties communicated three times via Zoom.

The Big 12 logo on the field prior to a college football game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the West Virginia Mountaineers on October 2, 2021 at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia.

The Big 12 logo on the field prior to a college football game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the West Virginia Mountaineers on October 2, 2021 at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia.
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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“A Pac-12 source said Pac-12 is skeptical of a full merger because the leagues’ media rights expire at different times. A source at the Big 12 countered that Pac-12 pointed out how they could get around this,” Thamel. The prospects for the conference still look bleak after major USC and UCLA programs succumbed to the Big Ten.

Without a partnership available to add value to the Pac-12, other Power Five programs will continue to close in on the remaining Pac-12 teams.

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An overhead view of the Pac-12 logo on the pitch at Stanford Stadium during the NCAA Pac-12 college football game between the Stanford Cardinal and the UCLA Bruins on September 26, 2021 in Palo Alto, California.

An overhead view of the Pac-12 logo on the pitch at Stanford Stadium during the NCAA Pac-12 college football game between the Stanford Cardinal and the UCLA Bruins on September 26, 2021 in Palo Alto, California.
(Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

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