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Move over, SEC, you’ve got company. The ever-changing landscape of college football is transforming yet again. Multiple reports suggest that the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 conferences will announce a decision to align as soon as this morning. Once Oklahoma and Texas made the decision to ditch the Big 12 and head to the storied SEC, an alignment amongst the three Power Five conferences became a virtual necessity.
BREAKING: The Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 will announce their alliance tomorrow, per @TheAthletic.
The alliance will include non-conference football scheduling. pic.twitter.com/AwRI50FHbJ
— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 24, 2021
The Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 alignment will combine 40 total teams and is expected to include cross-conference scheduling. Annual regular season matchups featuring Ohio State versus Clemson or Oregon hosting Florida State could become a very real possibility.
Plenty of scheduling kinks will need to be worked out, but The Athletic speculates that “the Big Ten would drop from nine conference games to eight and each school would play one game with each of the Pac-12 and the ACC annually.”
The cross-conference games will do more than add eyeballs and respectability for the conferences. With the Big Ten’s media rights deal expiring following the 2022 campaign and the Pac-12’s finishing up a year later, the latest “super conference” would be in line for a record breaking media deal. The ACC’s media rights are tied to ESPN through 2036, which could complicate a new media rights deal that is aligned with both the Big Ten and Pac-12. Regardless, all three conferences are set to cash in.
Still with more questions than answers, one thing is clear: this ain’t your daddy’s college football.