Jump to content

  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Examining Arizona State's Move to the Big 12

    Arizona State, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah are all now making the move to the Big 12 while Oregon and Washington are headed to the Big Ten. With all the conference realignment, Arizona State to the Big 12 may be one of the biggest impact moves for wrestling. These teams won’t begin Big 12 competition until the 2024-2025 seasons. Seth Duckworth dove into what the rest of the Pac-12 wrestling teams could end up doing as well. 

    Arizona State Wrestling History

    Arizona State is the only Pac-12 member to have a national title in wrestling, winning the tournament in 1988. Since bringing on current head coach Zeke Jones in 2014, the team has had two team trophies and four top-ten finishes at the national tournament. The team has had eight NCAA finalists, 34 All-Americans, and 82 NCAA qualifiers with Jones at the helm. 

    In conference competition, the team has won five team titles since 2014. In 2023, they finished 4th at the Pac-12 tournament with 110.5 points. They’ve gone 93-50 in duals since 2014 as well. In just the past four seasons they are even 8-2 against Big 12 teams. 

    Their dual record can be deceiving; however, as even a 7-5 record in 2023 includes a win over current two-time Big 12 Champs Missouri and finished 7th at NCAA’s. In 2020, the team went 9-4 in duals but came back with a trophy with a fourth-place finish. 


    Arizona State’s Future

    While roster predictions are difficult to project with NIL and the transfer portal, there are some expectations that can be looked at. Right now the Sun Devils roster includes three seniors; Jacori Teemer, Tony Negron, and Anthony Montalvo. 

    Juniors include All-Americans Cohlton Schultz and Kyle Parco, along with Julian Chlebove and Jesse Vasquez. 

    Add in sophomores Richie Figueroa, Emilio Ysaguirre, and Cael Valencia; and the team appears set for the future. The team also had a top-ten recruiting class in 2022 and has been active in the transfer portal. 

    Wrestlers like Schultz, Parco, and Figueroa would be immediate Big 12 title contenders. Chlebove and Vasquez had impressive wins over Big 12 wrestlers as well.  

    While there are sure to be changes to multiple teams in the next season, Arizona State appears that it should immediately be on the upper tier of teams in the Big 12 conference for wrestling. 


    Could any of the other added teams add wrestling?

    The short answer right now is not likely. These conference realignments are driven by football, and there doesn’t seem to be a hurry to add wrestling for a lot of these programs. 

    Arizona and Colorado both had teams, with Arizona competing from 1979-1981 in the Pac-12 and Colorado wrestling in the Big 8 until 1980. Utah didn’t have a team, but there is a current Big 12 member in Utah Valley representing the state. 

    There is still potential for Big 12 expansion as well. Oregon State and Stanford are still official Pac-12 members, then there are affiliates Cal Poly, CSU Bakersfield, and Little Rock. Even if the teams aren’t officially brought into the conference, the Big 12 does have many affiliate teams. 

    At the end of the day, this situation is continuously changing and wrestling is an afterthought for the decisions. Arizona State to the Big 12 is currently the most substantial move, and will only strengthen the conference once it officially starts. 

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Create New...