On Tuesday afternoon, the commissioners from the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 held a press conference to officially announce the alliance between the three leagues. So it’s a thing now! What sort of thing? A non-specific thing.
In fact it’s nothing more than a fancy handshake agreement at this point, as the three didn’t get together to draw up any contracts. And based on that knowledge, you can probably guess how many concrete changes they announced today: none.
There is a press release that you can peruse if you want but there are probably a million better uses of your time. Here’s the bit on scheduling:
The alliance includes a scheduling component for football and women’s and men’s basketball designed to create new inter-conference games, enhance opportunities for student-athletes, and optimize the college athletics experience for both student-athletes and fans across the country. The scheduling alliance will begin as soon as practical while honoring current contractual obligations. A working group comprised of athletic directors representing the three conferences will oversee the scheduling component of the alliance, including determining the criteria upon which scheduling decisions will be made. All three leagues and their respective institutions understand that scheduling decisions will be an evolutionary process given current scheduling commitments.
Right, so you know how most power-five football programs have power-five non-conference opponents lined up for the next like 5-10 years? Yeah, those aren’t going anywhere in exchange for some sea change to football scheduling among these three conferences.
Not that that ever felt like the impetus or the priority. The ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 felt like they needed to respond to the SEC’s addition of Texas and Oklahoma, and here in the preliminary that response looks like a half-assed high school group presentation. But if the important thing is to solidify a group to prevent the SEC from totally dictating the terms of college football’s future, then I suppose the mission is accomplished.
And isn’t it nice to see some guys get together to agree to agree? Some guys being dudes putting out a vibe of mutual self-interest and swearing that they absolutely will not stab each other in the back at the first advantageous opportunity.
At least we might get some decent basketball games out of this.