An alliance between the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC is reportedly in the works.
According to The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach, the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC could announce an alliance between the three conferences as soon as next week.
Conversations between the three conferences about working together have come in response to the SEC's move last month to poach Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12. Per Auerbach, “administrators in all three leagues have stressed in recent conversations that issues of governance can and should be front and center.”
Specifically, the conferences want to work together to preserve the collegiate model, and they could collectively vote to delay the implementation of an expanded College Football Playoff until after the CFP's current TV rights deal with ESPN – which is also set to become the SEC's primary media rights partner in 2024 – ends in 2026. If an expanded playoff was implemented before then, ESPN would have exclusive negotiating rights to continue televising the CFP.
An alliance between the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC could also lead to future scheduling agreements between the three conferences. However, Auerbach reports that there are still “many details to iron out,” so it is unclear how specific an announcement between the conferences will be about what exactly the alliance will entail.
By working together, though, the three conferences – whose commissioners are all in either their first or second year at the helm of their conferences – can help ensure they remain among the power conferences in college sports while the Big 12's future grows increasingly uncertain.