After the SEC’s huge gambit, bringing in Oklahoma and Texas, a true death blow to the Big 12 as we know it, the other Power Five leagues are scrambling to keep up. The ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 are reportedly in discussions to form a conference “alliance” to counteract the SEC’s powergrab.
It is not totally clear what exactly this alliance would consist of. Many figure a big part will be made for TV non-conference games, as those leagues seek to keep pace with the huge TV money that the SEC is set to receive when they negotiate a new deal in 2025. The leagues would also form a powerful voting block on NCAA matters.
“The Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC are expected to make a formal announcement about their alignment soon, perhaps as early as next week,” The Athletic reports today. “It’s not yet clear how specific the announcement will be because there are so many details to iron out, although administrators in all three leagues have stressed in recent conversations that issues of governance can and should be front and center.”
The trio of conferences is especially interesting, as all have brought on new commissioners in recent years, while the SEC’s Greg Sankey has been in his job since 2015, after working under the late Mike Slive. It also clearly signals that the leagues don’t believe the Big 12 will be a viable “power conference” moving forward.
News: The Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC are expected to make a formal announcement about their alignment soon, perhaps as early as next week, multiple sources told @TheAthletic.
This isn't just about scheduling. More: https://t.co/OyBicG7uiv
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 20, 2021
Among the big breakdowns between these three leagues and the SEC: a dedication to “broad-based sports offerings” and high academic profile, vs. the SEC’s clear prioritization of football above all else on the academic side.
At least one SEC administrator doesn’t seem overly concerned about this counterpunch. “We’ll play each other, they’ll play each other. Who wins and loses there?” a league athletic director told Matt Hayes last week.
It sounds like we could get a more clear picture of what this alliance will look like in the near future.