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The Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC “Alliance” is here and it seems pretty lame

Good things might come of this. There’s nothing on paper to make sure that happens though.

BIG NEWS* was announced today by the Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC. THE ALLIANCE is now underway and will soon be doing...things. To assure that these...things...happen there is no contractual agreements between the conference. But virtual handshakes were exchanged (COVID is still a thing afterall) and commissioners stared into each other’s eyes to make sure they could be trusted to do...things.

*Absolutely nothing in today’s announcement is big news

Here’s the official press release:

The big takeaway?

There was a press conference today. That’s my takeaway. You might think I’m kidding, but I don’t really see what this is going to do. I can see what the conferences will *hope* people will think it does, but hope is not a strategy. Near as I can tell there are no firm commitments that will require the conferences to do anything in particular. There’s just a bunch of words on a press release and on a Zoom call and some humming of kumbaya.

Remind me, why did this happen?

Because the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners decided to join the SEC.

What does THE ALLIANCE do (in theory)?

  • The conferences will schedule each other more in football and basketball (both men’s and women’s).
  • A bunch of other good sounding things were mentioned (like gender equality and social justice) but frankly when we’re talking about college sports I just assume entities like conferences or the NCAA are just BS’ing with a commitment to anything except making money.

What does THE ALLIANCE do (in reality)?

  • Nothing until proven otherwise. Why? Well, here’s why:
  • You read that right. There are no contracts. The commissioners seem unconcerned about the lack of legal framework though:
  • This seems like a sound and rational way to handle and alliance between competitive entities in a public media marketplace. I’m sure it will work perfectly.

Twitter reactions

Final thoughts

As of now this doesn’t affect the Minnesota Gophers at all. I actually hoped this announcement would come with some concrete scheduling plans. It did not, so until proven otherwise I’ll just assume this is a big heaping pile of nothing. I don’t actually care if I’m proven wrong, as my desire for a concrete scheduling solution is mostly based around my desire to see Minnesota play at Washington at some point.