While it sounds good for the Big 12 to take the Colorado Buffaloes back into the mix in this round of the conference realignment conversation, I don’t think that would be the best move for each party. At this point, Colorado isn’t a very competitive athletic program compared to some of the other appealing candidates in this hypothetical conference realignment conversation out of the PAC-12.
Colorado would be worth considering to take back for the Big 12, but only if they’re taking on more than three teams from the PAC-12.
Purely from the standpoints of marketability and football success, the Oregon Ducks might be the most appealing candidate out of the PAC-12 if the Big 12 is going to take anyone from that conference. The problem for the Big 12 in this regard would be finding other geographic rivals for the Ducks. Beyond that, Oregon might already be looking at other options amid this round of conference realignment.
It would make sense for Oregon to consider also trying to join the Big Ten. If that doesn’t work out, then the Big 12 should be calling the Ducks immediately.
In a world where the Big 12 is able to get Oregon from the PAC-12, then it makes a lot of sense to go for a package deal that also includes the Washington Huskies. That would allow the Big 12 to give the Ducks a more natural geographic rival while firmly opening up some of the more appealing TV markets all throughout the pacific northwest.