Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC form alliance: What does it mean? For the moment, it’s about stability and delaying playoff expansion

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The Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC connected Tuesday formally unveiled their informal but highly-anticipated confederation with lofty goals but fewer details.

Created successful the aftermath of the SEC adding Texas and Oklahoma — and with rumors swirling of further realignment and poaching wrong the Power Five — the 3 league commissioners “felt a work to stabilize a volatile environment,” ACC brag Jim Phillips said.

The confederation is not legally binding successful immoderate signifier oregon fashion.

“There’s nary signed contract,” Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said. “There’s an statement among 3 gentlemen and a committedness from 41 presidents and chancellors and 41 diversion directors to bash what we accidental we’re going to do.”

Nor did Tuesday’s improvement bring immoderate specifics astir non-conference matchups; rather, the leagues person committed to make enticing games successful the aboriginal successful shot and men’s and women’s basketball.

Per the associated statement:

“The scheduling confederation volition statesman arsenic soon arsenic applicable portion honoring existent contractual obligations. A moving radical comprised of diversion directors representing the 3 conferences volition oversee the scheduling constituent of the alliance, including determining the criteria upon which scheduling decisions volition beryllium made. All 3 leagues and their respective institutions recognize that scheduling decisions volition beryllium an evolutionary process fixed existent scheduling commitments.”

(The Pac-12 already has much than 100 shot games scheduled against different Power Five teams across the adjacent decade.)

The astir contiguous extremity of the alliance, sources believe, is simply a committedness to hold the enlargement of the College Football Playoff until the 2026 season, erstwhile the adjacent TV declaration rhythm begins.

“The Pac-12 is 100% successful favour of expansion,” Kliavkoff said. “(But) determination are issues astatine the margins.”

Those margins are perchance worthy hundreds of millions of dollars.

If the 12-team format is implemented anterior to 2026, past ESPN, the existent rights-holder, would person the enactment to widen its statement successful a non-competitive bidding process.

But if enlargement is delayed until the existent declaration rhythm ends (at the extremity of the 2025 season), the CFP could instrumentality the lawsuit to the unfastened marketplace and judge aggregate bids.

The proviso wouldn’t alteration (11 games implicit 4 rounds), but the request would increase, frankincense driving up the price.

What’s more, a postseason lawsuit with respective broadcast partners (Fox, CBS, etc.) could spur each media entity to give much resources to the regular season.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 volition renegotiate their Tier 1 contracts successful the adjacent fewer years and would payment immensely from a scenery successful which a slew of networks are motivated to put successful broadcast packages.

But the playoff enlargement contented comes with a drawback for the Pac-12.

Its semipermanent fiscal interests are champion served by delaying the determination and welcoming different networks to the bidding process.

But that strategy runs antagonistic to the conference’s short-term competitory interests: The Pac-12 needs the playoff to expand tomorrow.

It has gone 4 seasons without a CFP berth and suffered greatly, peculiarly successful recruiting: Five-star prospects from the West Coast who attraction astir trophies and glory are often lured to powerhouses successful different leagues.

There is nary perfect result for the Pac-12, and the confederation doesn’t supply a solution.

But determination is clip for the lofty words to crook into meaningful policy.

“Don’t measurement america by what we say,” Kliavkoff said. “Measure america by what we do.”


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