Report: Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC Will Formally Announce Alliance Tuesday

Adam WellsAugust 24, 2021

COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 30:  The Big Ten logo on the field at Maryland Stadium before the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Minnesota Golden Gophers on October 30, 2020 at  in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Amid the upcoming expansion in the SEC, three of the other Power Five conferences are reportedly going to announce a partnership on Tuesday. 

Per The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach, the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC will formally announce their alliance to "to work together on multiple fronts, from College Football Playoff expansion to NCAA governance issues and annual football scheduling."

The SEC increased its overall power in the Power Five hierarchy last month when school presidents unanimously voted to add Oklahoma and Texas. The move will go into effect on July 1, 2025. 

In her report from Saturday, Auerbach noted administrators from the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 are concerned that the SEC's aggressive expansion could turn college football into an "an actual minor league system for the NFL with a draft, player salaries and the like."

Another reason Auerbach cited for the conference alliance is related to "concerns" over the proposed expansion of the College Football Playoff. 

In June, the College Football Playoff board of managers approved a feasibility study about potentially increasing the playoff field from four to 12 teams in the future. 

The proposal, according to Auerbach, didn't include anyone representing the Big Ten, ACC or Pac-12. 

Another potential rationale for working together involves television money. The Pac-12's current TV deal, signed in 2011, pays the conference approximately $250 million per year.

At the time, it was the largest television contract signed by a conference, but it has since been passed by the Big Ten ($55 million per school each year) and SEC ($45 million). 

A partnership with the ACC will also allow the Pac-12 to get regular television exposure on ESPN. Its current TV contracts are exclusive to Fox, with the Pac-12 Network having lost 17 percent of subscribers between Feb. 2019 to Dec. 2020. 

The ACC and Big Ten have TV deals with ESPN; the Big Ten also has a contract with Fox Sports.