Report: Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC in Discussions to Create College Football Alliance

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 14, 2021

The Big Ten Logo decorates a first down chain during an NCAA college football game between Penn State and Iowa in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
AP Photo/Barry Reeger

The Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten are having "high-level discussions" about forming an alliance between the three conferences, per Max Olson of The Athletic:

"Talks have centered around not just a scheduling alliance in football but in broader cooperation, according to sources in the three conferences. Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and ACC commissioner Jim Phillips have been having conversations for several weeks."

As The Athletic noted, it's unclear how scheduling would work between the three conferences, but the goal is to get on the same page and vote on key concerns, including College Football Playoff expansion and any "NCAA governance changes," per Olson.

Olson's report also comes amid news that the SEC plans to expand by adding Big 12 powerhouses Oklahoma and Texas.

“This is their shot right back at the SEC,” one athletic director told Olson.

Per Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, the Big 12 is reportedly not involved in these conversations. The Big 12 is currently a 10-team league at the moment, although Oklahoma and Texas reportedly will be gone in 2025.

Stewart Mandel of The Athletic tweeted that the report is "not good news" for the Big 12 as the conference is likely forced to forge ahead without the two powerhouse schools.

Regarding why the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten would go this route, Matt Fortuna of The Athletic explained the logic.

"The NCAA announced the formation of a constitution committee, with the hopes of expediting a proposed governance model. It is there, in voting power, where an alliance among the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 would really show those three conferences’ power—41 votes to the 16 votes of the expanded SEC."

When asked for comment, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff told the following to The Athletic:

"I’ve been in frequent and regular contact with all of the other A5 commissioners the last few weeks about the complex issues that are facing the industry." In addition, he said there is "nothing to report on this specific matter at this time."

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg confirmed the Athletic report, writing that the conferences "have engaged in preliminary talks about an alliance, likely centered on scheduling."

Rittenberg also noted that the conferences have "plenty to work out" but numerous meetings in person have occurred in the last few days.