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University of Colorado to rejoin Big 12 conference

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DENVER (KDVR) — Twelve years after leaving the Big 12, the University of Colorado Buffaloes have announced their return to the storied athletic conference.

The statement from Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark was two simple words: “They’re back.”

The Buffs have spent the past decade-plus as a member of the Pac-12 and have gone without winning a conference championship since. But one time, in 2016, they won the Pac-12 South division before losing in the championship game against Washington.

“These decisions are never easy and we’ve valued our 12 years as proud members of the Pac-12 Conference. We look forward to achieving new goals while embarking on this exciting next era as members of the Big 12 Conference,” Chancellor Philip DiStefano and Athletic Director Rick George said in a joint statement posted to the school’s website.

The move back to the Big 12 was announced Thursday and will begin for the 2024-25 school year.

“After careful thought and consideration, it was determined that a switch in conference would give CU Boulder the stability, resources, and exposure necessary for long-term future success in a college athletics environment that is constantly evolving,” DiStefano and George’s statement said.

The move was approved unanimously by the University of Colorado Board of Regents. The next step in the process is a formal application from the school to the conference, but all other schools in the conference have approved it.

Deion Sanders weeks away from first game

The decision comes about six months after CU hired Deion Sanders as its football coach.

Sanders had a storied NFL career and has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Most recently, he was coaching at Jackson State University, where he was hired in 2020. For the 2021 season, they went 11-2 with wins in all eight of their conference games. The following year they again won all of their conference matchups on their way to a 12-1 record. In both years they won the conference championship.

The hiring of Sanders led to the Buffaloes selling all available season tickets for the upcoming football season. There are some individual game tickets available, but it will cost you at least $100 plus fees to get in, with the cost of attendance for some games starting above $200.

Sanders’ first game as head coach for the Buffs will be on Sept. 2 at Texas Christian University. His first home game will be on Sept. 9 against long-time rival Nebraska, and the rival Colorado State game will follow the next weekend.

A news conference on the decision is expected at 5 p.m. Thursday. That will be streamed live on KDVR.com in this story.

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