K-State football faces scheduling conundrum following Big 12′s newest additions

FILE: With future Big 12 foes Arizona and Colorado on their non-conference schedule in upcoming...
FILE: With future Big 12 foes Arizona and Colorado on their non-conference schedule in upcoming years, K-State football faces a scheduling conundrum. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)(David Zalubowski | AP)
Published: Aug. 5, 2023 at 11:40 AM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KCTV) - The latest reshuffling of the college athletics landscape took place this week, with the Big Ten and Big 12 pillaging the Pac-12 for five more teams.

On Friday night -- a week after former Big 12 member Colorado announced its return to its old league -- Arizona, Arizona State and Utah each announced they’ll make the jump to the Big 12 hours after Pac-12 foes Washington and Oregon accepted invites to the Big Ten.

While it remains to be seen how this will impact college athletics in the decade ahead, Kansas State’s football program has an immediate problem on its hands.

The Wildcats were scheduled to play home-and-home football series with current Pac-12 members Arizona, Colorado and Washington State. K-State is scheduled to welcome Arizona to Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Sept. 14, 2024, and make a return trip to Tucson on Sept. 13, 2025.

While the Arizona games represent a more immediate scheduling conundrum for K-State athletic director Gene Taylor, KSU wasn’t set to play Colorado until a Sept. 18, 2027, trip to Boulder and a Sept. 16, 2028, visit from the Buffaloes.

Even though Washington State will not become a league foe for K-State, the Big 12’s rule requiring one power conference opponent per season might force the Wildcats to look for new matchups in 2026 and 2029.

Kansas faced a similar issue recently. The Jayhawks made a trip to Houston in September 2022 for what was supposed to be the first game of a home-and-home with the Cougars, but with Houston joining the Big 12 this fall the return trip was called off. As a result, KU set up a home-and-home with Nevada and will travel to Reno this September before a return matchup in 2029.

Under the new TV rights deal Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark signed with ESPN and Fox, each Power 5 addition to the league will receive a full media rights share immediately upon entry. That means Arizona, ASU and Utah will each receive a $31.7 million per year share -- equal to what K-State and KU will pull in -- when they join the Big 12 in July 2024.