Today the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 have decided to move together with an an alliance both on and off the field that means the 41 schools will work “together on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling.”
This is seen as a pushback against the SEC, who just saw Oklahoma and Texas leave the Big 12 Conference for the cash-greener pastures of their new league. The Big 12 isn’t a part of this coalition, which might mean bad things for the remaining eight institutions from that league.
This is the rest of the Power Five striking back at the SEC and the recent changes that have been happening across collegiate athletics. The fate of paying players, how marketing and TV dollars will work, and any expansion of the College Football Playoff when that deal expires after the 2024 season are all in the mutual interests of these leagues.
“There still is a lot of goodness in college athletics,” said Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren. “But there is turbulence now in college athletics and things we need to address. We need leadership.”
“We need to make sure that we have shared values, we keep academics first, we keep our integrity and honor and collaboration together.”
“The foundation of college sports is, in many effects, in turmoil,” said Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff. ““The intersection of these constants are the reason we have come together in this alliance.”
The agreement also includes a scheduling alliance that will have teams playing each other more often in all sports, but details are basically non-existent at this time.
The football scheduling alliance will feature additional attractive matchups across the three conferences while continuing to honor historic rivalries and the best traditions of college football.
In women’s and men’s basketball, the three conferences will add early and mid-season games as well as annual events that feature premier matchups between the three leagues.
The three conferences will also explore opportunities for the vast and exceptional Olympic Sports programs to compete more frequently and forge additional attractive and meaningful rivalries.
“We are not going to interfere with any existing contracts,” said Warren. “This is about honoring existing contracts.”
“I’m a big believer in expanding the College Football Playoff. But I’m also a big believer in being methodical and doing our homework,” he added. So it does look like more access to the Playoff is coming.
This isn’t a formal arrangement however, as “there is no signed contract. There was an agreement among three gentlemen and a commitment from 41 presidents and chancellors,” says Kliavkoff. “There is no signed document and there doesn’t need to be.”
Jim Phillips says this is about trust. They've looked each other in the eye, etc. No word on whether they've executed any pinky swears— Matt Baker (@MBakerTBTimes) August 24, 2021
“We want and need the Big 12 to do well. The Big 12 matters,” says ACC commish Jim Phillips. At least they acknowledge it still exists before they pick it apart it appears.
ACC's Jim Phillips: "It's about trust. It's about we looked each other in the eye, we made an agreement ... Of course binding contracts serve a purpose but at this juncture that to us wasn't a critical element."— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) August 24, 2021
This might be the most compelling part of this non-news event, which was that it’s possible the Pac-12 and Big Ten might drop back down to playing only eight conference games. That might be a win for fans everywhere if the new matchups are compelling.
B1G’s Kevin Warren & Pac-12 commish George Kliavkoff each said their leagues will have to address whether to drop from 9 to 8 conference games because of the scheduling Alliance— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 24, 2021
Certainly not a lot of news made today, so the TL:DR goes here below.