Report: Pac-12, ACC Discuss 'Loose Partnership,' Potential Championship Game

Erin WalshJuly 6, 2022

CORVALLIS, OR - NOVEMBER 13: An end zone pylon with the Pac-12 logo sits on the field during a PAC-12 conference football game between the Stanford Cardinal and Oregon State Beavers on November 13, 2021 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon. (Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The ACC has proposed a "loose partnership" with the Pac-12 that could include a season-ending "championship game" between the two conferences in Las Vegas, according to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.

The proposal is being viewed a way for ESPN "to increase the value of their current media rights contracts," Dodd added.

Dodd wrote:

"Sources indicate the proposal is viewed as a 'strength in numbers' move. While the 24 combined ACC and Pac-12 teams wouldn't have nearly the clout of the 32 programs combined in the SEC and Big Ten, it would be something to combat the growing financial gap between those burgeoning superconferences and everyone else."

The news comes after sports columnist John Canzano reported that the ACC and Pac-12 were discussing a partnership. He reported that the conferences could play regular-season crossover games, in addition to a championship contest.

Having teams from both conferences compete in crossover games should hopefully help both conferences stay relevant in the ever-changing college athletics landscape.

That said, it's no surprise the ACC and Pac-12 are looking to form an alliance as rights for Pac-12 teams without UCLA and USC are worth around $30 million per year, according to Dodd. With both schools in the fold, the rights were around $42 million per team.

The Pac-12 also announced Tuesday that it was pushing up negotiations for its next media rights agreements after UCLA and USC announced last week that they were leaving the conference to join the Big Ten in 2024.

The Big Ten is set to have 16 teams when UCLA and USC join, which will match the number of teams set to play in the SEC after Texas and Oklahoma announced they would be leaving the Big 12.

The Pac-12, meanwhile, is down to just 10 schools. However, the conference is looking to add teams and its board of directors announced that it has authorized a search for expansion schools following the departures of UCLA and USC.

Pac-12 Conference @pac12

<a href="https://t.co/zieBdwnLvv">pic.twitter.com/zieBdwnLvv</a>

That said, everything with the Pac-12 seems fluid, so we'll have to wait and see if the conference locks up a deal with the ACC.