Big Ten to Form Alliance with Two Other Major Conferences
The college football world has been shaken up recently by three major changes. The coronavirus pandemic, as well as the new rules for NIL (name, image, and likeness) that allow collegiate players to profit off of their, well, names, images, and likenesses. Not the least of these happenings was the major shift of both Oklahoma and Texas out of the Big 12 and into the SEC. Teams joining the SEC are generally perceived to have a better chance at bigger money and prominent spots in the College Football Playoff (which is under discussion every year to expand from its current four-team format.)
To combat mostly the ever-growing power and influence of the SEC, there have been ongoing talks in recent weeks about three major conferences joining forces and according to Iowa's News Now, it looks as though those talks have been finalized between the Big 10, ACC, and Pac-12. The three conferences will also work to have centralized policies and procedures.
It's more of a handshake agreement, with the three conferences coming together "on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling".
As Pac-12 commissioner George Kilavkoff states,
There’s no contract. There’s no signed document. There doesn’t need to be
It's not that these 41 teams, including, of course, the University of Iowa, will all be together in a single conference. That would be a bit much. What it does aim to do is prevent future realignment of teams coming and going.
It could also lead to some steady future nonconference matchups and avoid some of the so-called "cupcake" scheduling (imagine Iowa playing USC or Oregon on a regular basis). As most teams have their football schedules finalized years in advance, that part could come much, much later. Basketball and other sports are a slightly different story.
Meanwhile, the Big 12 is still left holding the bag, wondering what its own future holds after the loss of two of its power teams and no invitation to the latest party.