Earlier this week, Action Network's Brett McMurphy reported that the University of Colorado will be joining the BIG 12 Conference in 2024. The Buffaloes are reportedly set to leave the PAC-12, a conference which is also losing both USC and UCLA to the BIG 10 (in 2024).
According to McMurphy, Colorado is leaving the PAC-12 due to the conference's "uncertainty" and the BIG 12's "stability". The Buffaloes previously spent time in the BIG 12 from 1996 through 2010 before the Boulder-based school officially left for the PAC-12 in 2011.
It should be noted that separate sources from CBS Sports, The Denver Post and Yahoo Sports have all published similar reports, although they have used differing language which suggests lesser finalization of the move.
However, according to ESPN, "Colorado is expected to formally apply on Thursday, the same day that the school's Board of Regents is holding a "special board meeting" that sources say includes a vote on the move to the Big 12. Sources expect the final steps to be taken on Thursday and a deal to be formalized."
Over the last year, the BIG 12 has seen multiple teams come in and out of their conference. Both Texas and Oklahoma are expected to leave the BIG 12 and join the SEC come 2024. In the meantime, four separate schools -- BYU, Houston, Central Florida and Cincinnati -- have all joined the BIG 12 for the upcoming academic year.
By 2024, the BIG 12 will have become a powerhouse for top cross country and distance programs around the NCAA. Barring any additional movement between conferences, the BIG 12 will now feature some of the best distance running schools of the new century such as Colorado, BYU, Oklahoma State and Iowa State.
Over the last two years (since the fall of 2021), each of those schools have produced podium team finishes at the NCAA XC Championships.
The BIG 12 is expected to temporarily retain Texas, another historically strong distance program, this fall until the Longhorns move to the SEC in 2024, the same time when Colorado could/will enter the conference.