RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences knew they could not just sit on their hands when the SEC recently added Big-12 superpowers Texas and Oklahoma to the conference.
So on Tuesday, the three conferences formed an alliance they feel will help in their survival going forward as the SEC looks to dominate the college football landscape.
ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren and the Pac-12’s George Kliavkoff met with the media via Zoom this afternoon for about 50 minutes taking questions from reporters all across the country.
At no point did any of the three mention the SEC’s role in forming the alliance but did answer questions on it when asked by reporters.
“I wouldn’t say this is a reaction to Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC,” said Warren.
Still, the timing of the agreement seems to beg otherwise.
From the moment Texas and Oklahoma left the Big-12 for the SEC the college football world changed dramatically.
The remaining Power 5 conferences knew they had to somehow combat that move and today they showed us their plan.
So what is at the core of the alliance?
This non-binding agreement will see the three conferences scheduling very attractive early-season games among themselves that will have massive TV appeal.
Who wouldn’t want to see an Ohio State-Clemson or Southern Cal-North Carolina early-season battle?
Games like that would be perfect to combat ESPN’s SEC stranglehold on college football viewership.
The commissioners also pointed out that while the three conferences are coming together, they will still remain rivals.
And each conference’s best rivalries will remain intact.
In other words, Ohio State-Michigan, UNC-NC State and USC-UCLA will continue to be played on a yearly basis.
The commissioners were quick to point out that this was not just an alliance to benefit football.
Basketball will also see some marque games scheduled, not just early in the season but also sprinkled throughout the regular season as well.
Not everyone, though, came out on top with this historic agreement.
There were some losers.
The Big-12 now seems to be a conference washed away in the tide with the league’s two best teams gone to the SEC and the alliance not including them in their plans.
Also, non-Power 5 schools may be taking a huge financial hit.
Those schools year in and year out schedule early-season games against powerhouse programs.
The revenue gained by getting spanked on the field in some cases pays nearly all of the school athletic budget for the year.
Those games will now be harder to schedule with the Alliance lining up more attractive games within the three conferences.
But give the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 credit.
They saw the financial landscape of athletics being swallowed up the SEC and came up with a plan to combat it.