The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 are apparently positioning themselves as a force against the SEC.
The three conferences are “engaging in high-level discussions” about creating a formal alliance, The Athletic’s Max Olson reported on Friday night.
While it’s still unclear specifically how that would work, the move is a very clear response to the SEC’s moves with Texas and Oklahoma.
What would the ACC-Big Ten-Pac-12 alliance look like?
That’s a very good question, one we likely won’t know the answer to for some time.
The three commissioners — the ACC’s Jim Phillips, the Big Ten’s Kevin Warren and the Pac-12’s George Kliavkoff — have reportedly been having conversations for several weeks about such an alliance trying to figure that out.
According to The Athletic, part of the alliance will be for scheduling. That would easily create regular cross-conference games between the three leagues, even as the college sports landscape undergoes changes in the coming years.
The bigger purpose of it, however, is reportedly to align themselves together to work and vote on larger issues throughout college football.
The NCAA announced earlier this week that it was forming a constitution committee, which will help the sport move forward on governance issues, College Football Playoff expansion and more. With three of the five biggest conferences in the NCAA banded together, they would undoubtedly have more say in those discussions.
Though it seems as if there is a lot to figure out still, this alliance, one athletic director told The Athletic, “is their shot right back at the SEC.”
Is the Big 12 included in this at all?
According to Olson, no.
Texas and Oklahoma accepted invitations to join the SEC last month, a move that will take place starting in 2025. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and the Big 12 — which will be down to eight teams once Texas and Oklahoma leave — didn’t discuss this alliance with Big 12 athletic directors on a conference call on Friday.
The other three leagues, per the report, have not “expressed serious interest in raiding what’s left” of the Big 12, either.
Should the alliance between the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 form, it sounds like the Big 12 won’t be invited in. That could put Bowlsby and his eight remaining schools in a very difficult position.
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