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Next Big 12 Expansion Team Odds: Arizona, Utah Or UConn Next?

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 6 mins

Next Big 12 Expansion Team Odds: Arizona, Utah Or UConn Next?

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As the SEC and Big Ten conferences continue to expand their reach in the never-ending pursuit of TV money, the rest of the football powers are in a dash to find their spot in the landscape. 

The Big Ten welcomes USC and UCLA from the Pac-12 starting in 2024, while the SEC will welcome Texas and Oklahoma – formerly the two anchors that kept the Big 12 afloat – the same year.

Meanwhile, the Big 12, a conference that has been raided by both the Big Ten and the SEC in recent years, is now looking to be proactive in its quest to remain relevant. Recent rumors indicate the Big 12 has an opportunity to be the “next in line” when it comes to the college football expansion arms race.

That's looking to be the case. The conference has reportedly agreed to add Colorado, stealing the Buffaloes from the Pac-12 and bringing them back to their original conference home. 

The Big 12 isn't done. Most experts believe a second team will be added when Colorado is brought on. 

Bookies.com veteran oddsmaker Adam Thompson has broken down the landscape. Here are his hypothetical college football odds as to which teams will be next to join the Big 12.

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Next Big 12 Expansion Team Odds

TeamOddsImplied Probability
Arizona State+50016.7%
San Diego State+55015.4%
The Field+70012.5%

Odds are projected and do not reflect any odds that may be available at legal betting sites or betting apps. They will not add up to 100% most times because they are designed to simulate a sportsbook line.

*Note: Odds reflect that more than one team is likely to join at the same time

RELATED: Next SEC Expansion Team Odds: FSU Bolting the ACC?

Who Joins Colorado to the Pac-12?

Before the Big 12 even loses Texas and Oklahoma, it will add four schools. Starting this fall, BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston all join the ranks, putting 14 schools in the conference. That number drops to 12 in 2024. 

The SEC and Big Ten will each leap to 16 schools in 2024. Many insiders believe they’ll each grow to 18 by the end of the decade, if not to 20. 

The Big 12, Pac-12, and ACC have been the main targets of the Big Two, but the Big 12 has been the most proactive in adding new members. After looking as though the loss of Texas and Oklahoma would be a death blow, the Big 12 is now poised to be on a better path to longevity. 

Colorado is back, a huge get for the Big 12 and a huge letdown for the beleaguered Pac-12 as it struggles to secure a TV rights deal. 

The Pac-12 appears ripe for more picking. 

Arizona and Arizona State have also been mentioned frequently as possible movers. While their history in the Pac-12 dwarfs that of the Buffaloes and the likes of Utah, the two southernmost conference members may look for greener pastures if the Pac-12 writing is on the wall. Arizona, especially, has been linked to an exodus

From a geographic and football standpoint, Utah could make sense, just as Colorado did. The Utes have won the last two Pac-12 football championships, so it would bring a major football program into the mix -- at least the biggest the Pac-12 currently has to offer. 

It's possible Arizona, Utah, and ASU all get added with Colorado, pushing the Big 12 into 16-team "super conference" status and further cementing its status as the No. 3. Many insiders believe the Wildcats are the priority target for the Big 12. Adding all three offers a massive swath of territory. 

Colorado and Arizona would be significant "gets" for the Big 12. Utah is a close No. 3. When it comes to expansion, many insiders believe the Big 12 is looking at picking off unsatisfied Pac-12 programs while keeping an eye on a few developments out east. 

While Arizona reportedly is open to exploring all options, ASU is less inclined to the massive move. That could open the door for another school to take its spot. 

UConn has been in the Big East for four seasons and its football program is not up to Big 12 standards. UConn's basketball programs, men’s and women’s, are as elite as they come, and the Big 12 has shown an interest in cementing its stature as an elite hoops conference. The last two national champions, Baylor and Kansas, reside in the Big 12. The Huskies, forever associated with basketball in the northeast, could lose a big part of their identity with a shift to the Big 12. 

Momentum is pushing the Huskies up the board. Some believe the move isn't a matter of if, but when, the Huskies change conferences. UConn heads the list of possibilities, but it isn't the only program that could make a switch. 

San Diego State athletic director JD Wicker confirmed this spring that the Mountain West school will eventually join the Pac-12 or Big 12. Which one, and when, is to be determined, and the Mountain West may have something to say about it. But the university is in a major market and has been ultra-competitive in both football and men’s basketball. 

The belief was the Aztecs to the Pac-12 was a formality, but an offer never came, deadlines were passed, and they're still in the MWC. The proactive Big 12 could sense an opportunity to push to the coast. 

Louisville fought to join the Big 12 back in 2011 but lost out to West Virginia for the final expansion spot. The reason, it is believed, was Texas’ disapproval. But Texas isn’t here anymore. If the ACC looks to be a sinking ship, the Cards could once again look west. The program has a marquee hoops team (the last couple of years notwithstanding) and a football program with success. It also creates a strong inter-conference rivalry with Cincinnati. 

Memphis has become a football school and is renovating its stadium to be on par with other schools of Power 5 status. It has looked to make a move to a “big boy” league and the Big 12 reportedly has Memphis on its short list. Adding the school offers the conference a team in SEC Country. 

RELATED: Next Big Ten Expansion Team Odds: Ducks Migrating East?

The Field includes other Pac-12 stalwarts including Oregon and Washington (who seem to be leaning more toward the Big Ten), as well as Stanford and California. Gonzaga, a non-football school, has been discussed but doesn’t count toward these odds. 

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.