ACC Big Ten Pac-12
The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 officially announced an alliance today, an announcement that is in direct response to the SEC’s growth. (Image via the ACC/

UPDATE: ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 Officially Announce Alliance

UPDATE: Aug. 24, 2021

The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 have officially announced an alliance today. The announcement has been expected and is a move in direct response to the SEC adding Oklahoma and Texas.

The trio of conferences will be working together on the expansion of the College Football Playoff, scheduling “inter-conference” games in football and men’s and women’s basketball, and governing issues facing the NCAA. As it appears right now, the three conferences remain independent, but are committed to supporting “broad-based athletic programs, the collegiate model and opportunities for student-athletes,” per a joint press release.

The scheduling of football games remains in the air, but will include “attractive matchups” from the trio of conferences that should excite college football fans. Men’s and women’s basketball scheduling will involve early and mid-season games in addition to annual events – there was no mention of whether the ACC-Big Ten challenge will continue as is or be re-branded.

ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said this regarding the alliance:

“The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 recognize the unique environment and challenges currently facing intercollegiate athletics, and we are proud and confident in this timely and necessary alliance that brings together like-minded institutions and conferences focused on the overall educational missions of our preeminent institutions.”


“The alliance will ensure that the educational outcomes and experiences for student-athletes participating at the highest level of collegiate athletics will remain the driving factor in all decisions moving forward.”


Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warner added:

“Student-athletes have been and will remain the focal point of the Big Ten, ACC and PAC-12 Conferences. Today, through this alliance, we furthered our commitment to our student-athletes by prioritizing our academics and athletics value systems. We are creating opportunities for student-athletes to have elite competition and are taking the necessary steps to shape and stabilize the future of college athletics.”


Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff reverberated the sentiments of collaboration and cooperation:

“The historic alliance announced today between the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten is grounded in a commitment to our student-athletes. We believe that collaborating together we are stronger in our commitment to addressing the broad issues and opportunities facing college athletics.”


The three commissioners did say that they will continue to monitor the Big 12’s situation.

*** You can read the original post from Aug. 20 below ***

The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 will be announcing a collective conference realignment soon, according to sources close to The Athletic and Nicole Auerbach. The approaching announcement comes on the heels of Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC. The truth of the matter is this: college football brings in the money and money runs the NCAA, so major conference realignments almost seem inevitable.

According to The Athletic, the trio of conferences believe in “the collegiate model” and would like to see it continue. This move was made as a reaction to the SEC’s apparent hunger for power. Oklahoma and Texas are enormous collegiate brands and their introduction to SEC football means more primetime games, better conference match-ups in a league where they were already spectacular, and a possible monopoly on the College Football Playoff.

As Auerbach said, the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 saw the power of the SEC and know that there is “strength in numbers.” How this will effect the college sports landscape remains to be seen. Off the top of my head, what does a 40 or 41 team conference look like? Do the three individual conferences retain their “traditional” status and is this move destined to monopolize voting power? What does the Switzerland of college football in Notre Dame do? Where and when does Mark Emmert step in? Does he step in at all?

All I can say is this, college football is becoming more independent. Conferences are beginning to make their own, independent decisions and Emmert is no where to be found. What we need now is a college football commissioner, but I doubt we’ll get one.


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