College Football Daily Cavalcade: The ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 will form an alliance. So now what?
College Football Daily Cavalcade: ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 Alliance, and What It All Means
Sorry if this take sucks, it’s not my fault …
It’s not strong enough to be a part of any alliance.
Keep your friends close and the other conferences closer.
The ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 are going to form an alliance of some sort.
No, it’s not the creation of a super-conference … yet.
Yes, this is a friends with benefits concept that should help stabilize the college athletic world against the advancing SEC menace.
No, this doesn’t mean it’s the end of the Big 12 … yet.
Yes, it’s probably the end of the Big 12, at least as a Power Five conference.
No, this doesn’t mean it’s the end of the NCAA … yet.
Yes, it’s probably the end of the NCAA, at least in its current role and function.
No, this isn’t about the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 carving up the Big 12, because …
Yes, the Big Ten could go get any remaining Big 12 school it wants at any time.
And yes, the Big Ten might simply be buying time before its lawyers figure out how to steal away some of the ACC’s stronger schools.
Let’s just cut to the chase.
It’s in the best interests of the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 to create a way to make their own media deal that combats ESPN, the SEC, the SEC Network, the College Football Playoff, and how all of those things are tied together, even though ESPN owns the ACC Network, too.
A Power 3 Alliance could come up with something even stronger.
In the very near future, the idea of major sports network TV deals – and the ad revenue that comes with them – will go the way of the dial-up modem.
It’s the real gag in the Progressive commercials that try to prevent you from becoming your parents. If you’re actually watching that ad – or any TV ad – you’re your parents.
It’s going to be all about streaming, and while ESPN+ is terrific, the other conferences are going to want Hulu, and Amazon, and all the other options out there ready to WAY overbid to get exclusive college football rights that live behind a subscriber paywall.
(BTW, as you’re shaking your fist at the idea, do you know how much of your cable/satellite/YouTubeTV bill pays for ESPN?)
And then there’s the more urgent reason for the alliance.
The College Football Playoff. The move of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC brought the expansion momentum to a screeching halt.
The last thing the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 want is to be a part of a 12-team tournament that’s half full of SEC schools.
The all-but-done-deal plan floating around this summer was a playoff with the six top-ranked conference champions and six other highest-ranked at-large teams.
Take a look at where Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Georgia are in the preseason rankings – and with Florida, LSU, and Texas not all that terribly far behind – and it’s not hard to figure out who wins in a 12-team expansion.
Going forward, assume it all starts with the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 locking arms to demand 1) equal payout of playoff money to all remaining Power Four conferences regardless of the number of teams in the CFP – which has zero chance of happening – and/or 2) a limit on the number of teams from one conference that can be in the College Football Playoff.
You want to try taking over the world, SEC? Fine, but there’s a rock-hard cap of three teams per conference allowed in the tournament.
You want to fight that, SEC? Fine, go it alone, do your regionalized thing, and see what kind of media deals you can generate with 2/3rds of the country – and most of the major media markets – not caring about your product nearly as much as you think it does.
Or, the Power 3 Alliance decides to create a 40-team Super-League of Awesome and tells the SEC to choke on it.
Meanwhile, no one has to pay the players – aka, the labor – but that’s for another day.