The answer to the SEC expansion from others of the Power Five is a three-conference alliance.
Commissioners for the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 announced an alliance Tuesday afternoon as the three conferences work together in facing the future structure of the NCAA and postseason championships like the future of the College Football Playoff. The alliance includes a scheduling component for football and men’s and women’s basketball.
The scheduling alliance “will begin as soon as practical while honoring current contractual obligations.” Unless the Big Ten changes the number of league games for football, Nebraska has one opening in 2024, one in 2027, two in 2029, one in 2030, and two in 2031. The Huskers don’t have a full nonconference slate available until 2032.
Between the three conference, there are 68 nonconference games scheduled between 2022 and 2035. That number grows over 100 when including Notre Dame. Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren told reporters at the announcement that there is no intention to break existing contracts.
For basketball, the release states that the conference will “add early and mid-season games as well as annual events that feature premier matchups”.
Opportunities for Olympic sports will also be explored.
“Student-athletes have been and will remain the focal point of the Big Ten, ACC and PAC-12 Conferences” Warren said. “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.”
Warren, at his post since 2019, is the longest-tenured of the three conference commissioners. George Kliavkoff (Pac-12) and Jim Phillips (ACC) took over their positions in the past few months.
Kliavkoff noted that there is no signed contract. He called the alliance an agreement between gentleman to hold up their ends of the deal in order to benefit the group.
"Its about trust," Phillips said. "We've looked each other in the eye and committed to the same level of support. We're very confident in executing on all that's been discussed."
Joint Statement from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green and Vice-Chancellor/Director of Athletics Trev Alberts on Big Ten-ACC-Pac 12 Alliance:
“We are in a time of fundamental change and seismic shifts in the landscape of college athletics. The Alliance between the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12, which has been approved by the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, presents an opportunity for 41 elite universities to work collaboratively to provide great support and opportunities for student-athletes. In our discussions it was obvious the institutions in these three conferences share many of the same values both academically and athletically. Working cooperatively best aligns our members schools philosophically as college athletics continues to evolve.
“The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will benefit from several exciting opportunities provided by this Alliance. Competing more regularly against ACC and Pac-12 opponents will continue to spread the Nebraska brand from coast to coast, which should add excitement for our fans and alumni, and be of great value in recruiting. We applaud Commissioner Kevin Warren and the Big Ten Conference leadership for their willingness to play a leading role in this unique partnership.”
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