According to reports from The Athletic’s Max Olson, the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 are “engaging in high-level discussions about an alliance.”
The recent talks between the three conferences have been centered around not just a scheduling alliance, but also about meeting “in the middle” on certain subjects. Per Olson, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and ACC commissioner Jim Phillips have been having conversations for several weeks.
Based on the report, Kliavkoff mentioned that there’s “nothing to report on this specific matter at this time.”
So, what does all this mean?
When the SEC agreed to add both Oklahoma and Texas to the conference, the Big 12 shrunk from 10 to eight schools. Since then, the subject of conversation has been what will Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby do with the remaining teams?
As of now, the Big 12 has been left in the dark as the three other Power 5 conferences elect to move forward with this process. This could lead to the collapse of the Big 12 altogether.
The new ruling of alliances would likely set up more in-conference scheduling between the three areas, thus upping the competition to the same likes of the SEC. This could benefit all three parties as the new 16-team conference found in the southeastern region.
The Big 12 is still currently discussing options to preserve its future when Texas and Oklahoma exit. The merger between the two powerhouse programs in the SEC is expected to happen in July of 2025, those things can move faster in time.
While the alliance presumably means the remaining Big 12 schools would remain together, this isn’t a good look for the fifth Power 5 conference.
Ultimately, Bowlsby might have to reach out to non-Power 5 programs and expand exponentially just to make up the lost revenue for both Texas and Oklahoma.
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