AP Source: ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 To Announce Alliance Plans

Aug 24, 2021, 9:59 AM
George Kliavkoff - Pac-12 Media Day...
(Photo courtesy of John McGillen, Pac-12)
(Photo courtesy of John McGillen, Pac-12)

(AP) – The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and Pac-12 plan to announce Tuesday that the three powerful leagues will form an alliance to work together on items such as football scheduling and college sports governance.

A person familiar with the talks among the conferences told The Associated Press the commissioners of the three leagues are expected for the first time to publicly address an idea that has been discussed for several weeks.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the conferences had not authorized anyone to speak publicly about the alliance before the formal announcement. The person said Tuesday’s announcement will be light on details and more of a commitment from the three relatively new commissioners — Kevin Warren of the Big Ten, Jim Phillips of the ACC and George Kliavkoff of the Pac-12 — that the conferences will work together on shared goals.

The move comes less than a month after the Southeastern Conference invited Texas and Oklahoma to join the league and create a 16-school league by 2025.

The person said the ACC, Big and Pac-12 hope an alliance of 41 schools that span from Miami to Seattle leads to “stabilization” and thwarts future realignment.

The alliance also forms as the NCAA begins the process of handing off more responsibility to conferences and schools to run college sports, and with a proposal to expand the College Football Playoff in the pipeline.

The scheduling piece could lead to multiple nonconference football games per season between the league members, creating new and valuable television inventory. But nonconference football schedules are typically made years in advance and many schools already have mostly full slates in the coming seasons.

For example, Ohio State has a home-and-home series with Alabama set for 2027 and 2028. It is unclear how an ACC-Big Ten-Pac-12 alliance would account for future games already in place and traditional ACC-SEC rivalries such as Clemson-South Carolina and Georgia-Georgia Tech.

An alliance involving the conferences could impact basketball scheduling more immediately, where schedules are usually made months, instead of years, in advance.


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