After a couple of weeks of silence, conference realignment rumors are starting to heat back up again. However, this time, it’s not necessarily about schools joining new conferences but how three Power Five conferences are considering working together to form an alliance.
According to Max Olson of The Athletic, the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 have been in discussions about an alliance. Below are a couple of notes from Olson’s report.
“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.
“’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,’ Kliavkoff said, adding that there’s “nothing to report on this specific matter at this time.'”
Obviously, the SEC is trying to become the conference that holds the most power (they sort of already do). They already have a TV deal with ESPN and the additions of Oklahoma and Texas in the future, only strengthen the conference even more. Since the Sooners and Longhorns went public with their move to the SEC, other rumors have floated around involving big-time programs being linked to joining the SEC. This alliance that the commissioners are in conversations about would have a primary focus on scheduling. The flexible scheduling could keep schools such as Clemson, Florida State, and others from bolting for the SEC as well.
Then there is the obvious — the Big 12 being left out of this alliance. This tells me that the other conferences see the Big 12 as a dying league and understand that they will not be able to survive with the remaining eight schools. Those eight will likely have to find a new landing spot and it would likely be somewhere within the alliance. Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State have already been linked to the Big Ten while TCU has been connected to the PAC 12 and West Virginia to the ACC. Texas Tech, Baylor, and Kansas State are the only schools that have an unknown destination at this point.
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