During the height of its expansion evaluation last summer, the Big 12 spoke with the Pac-12 about a scheduling alliance, CBS Sports has learned.
The discussions focused on a scheduling agreement between the two conferences to bolster each league's nonconference schedules in the College Football Playoff era, according to multiple sources.
Any talk of a Pac-12-Big 12 merger during that time "is not accurate," according to Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
"We talked over probably three years about things we might work together on [with the Pac-12]," Bowlsby added. "I had the same conversation about the SEC and the ACC. We're always looking for those kinds of things. There's probably a dozen topics about whether aggregation might make some sense."
The Pac-12, under commissioner Larry Scott, made a run at inviting six Big 12 schools to his league back in 2010. Eventually that deal fell apart and the Pac-10 expanded by only two to Colorado and Utah.
"If history is a guide, I do think one day there continues to be further consolidation," Scott told CBS Sports' Jon Solomon. "College sports is still very fragmented in terms of [media] rights. But nothing short-term. I don't think anything is imminent related to our conference."
Discussions between the two leagues first surfaced last summer during the heart of the Big 12's expansion evaluation. The Big 12 explored expansion but eventually decided to stay at 10 teams. In June, the league decided to add a football championship game beginning in 2017.
"Bob shared with me all the things they were thinking about, including [whether there was] anything we could do together," Scott said. "But none of them gained any traction."
This season, the Big 12 became the first Power Five conference to miss the College Football Playoff for a second time.
The Big 12 already plays a one-day challenge series in basketball against the SEC.