ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 form alliance for scheduling, policy

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FILE – Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, left, jokes with LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, right, as they pose with the College Football Championship trophy during a news conference ahead for the College Football playoffs in Atlanta, in this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, file photo. The College Football Playoff would expand from four to 12 teams, with six spots reserved for the highest ranked conference champions, under a proposal that will be considered next week by the league commissioners who manage the postseason system. A 12-team playoff would also include six at-large selections and no limit on how many teams can come from any one conference, a person familiar with announcement told The Associated Press on Thursday, June 10, 2021. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the CFP has not yet released details. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and Pac-12 announced an alliance Tuesday that will work together “on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling” with a clear eye on the growing power of the SEC.

Conference officials have been discussing the idea for weeks, but commissioners Kevin Warren of the Big Ten, Jim Phillips of the ACC and George Kliavkoff of the Pac-12 — all relatively new to their positions —- acknowledged the plan publicly for the first time.

“There’s no contract. There’s no signed document. There doesn’t need to be,” Kliavkoff said.

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 move sent shockwaves through college athletics and will leave the Big 12 without its two premier schools in the paydirt sport of football.

The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 hope its alliance of 41 schools that span from Miami to Seattle leads to stability at the top of big-time college sports and thwarts future realignment.

The alliance is also being formed 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.

Just how soon that might happen wasn’t clear: 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.

(Story via The Associated Press)

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