Conference Realignment: ACC, Pac-12 & Big Ten Alliance Announced; Big 12 Outside Looking In

The Pac-12, ACC, and Big Ten announced their alliance yesterday, perhaps similar to the Star Wars Rebel Alliance, or maybe not like that at all, but given the Wikipedia definition and if you consider the SEC the Galactic Empire, then maybe it fits after all:

The Alliance to Restore the Republic, more commonly known as the Rebel Alliance, the Rebellion or simply the Rebels, is a fictional stateless interstellar coalition of republican dissidents, revolutionary factions and anti-imperialist clandestine cell systems in a resistance movement against the imperialist Galactic Empire.

Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel has a nice write-up on what this means, largely a scheduling alliance, but also to stifle the SEC and ESPN’s desire to monopolize the College Football Playoff (perhaps) and additionally, this does not bode well for the remaining 8 teams:

The biggest tangible takeaway from Tuesday may be what bad news this is for the Big 12. (While Kliavkoff told Yahoo Sports that the Pac-12 would announce this week whether or not they were expanding, multiple sources indicated there’s virtually no chance of the Pac-12 taking action.)

That leaves the eight remaining Big 12 schools on the outside looking in. While there was speculation for years that there’d be 64 teams remaining in the four super leagues, the reality is that we’re headed toward an era with four power conferences and 57 teams. That doesn’t roll off the tongue or fit in a bracket, but the alliance widens the moat between the haves and the have-nots. And the remaining Big 12 schools are have-nots. There could be additions to the 57, but the leagues will be judicious about adding outsiders and dividing up their revenue pie to do so.

One industry source summed it up this way: “There’s your Super League. I don’t see that number going up (from 57) anytime soon. I could see [AAC commissioner Mike Aresco] and others fighting it. And maybe the best one or two schools could break in with significant and repeated success. There was never magic to 64. It looks good and it’s an even number. But you’re not going to sacrifice tens of millions of dollars to get to some number that doesn’t really matter. You don’t need 64 for scheduling or the College Football Playoff. It’s a big round number people like, but it’s just not needed.”

This is the latest rumor from Dave Wannstedt of all people, who works for FOX, regarding expansion:

I don’t know how much stock I put into that rumor, but nothing would surprise me at this point.

Regardless, I think the next question is, “Who (excluding Rob Breaux) is ready for the Big American Conference?” I really don’t mean to be so callous regarding Texas Tech’s situation. I don’t necessarily think that anyone has done anything “wrong” and my guess is that there’s not much that could have stopped the conference realignment train. That’s a pretty pessimistic outlook, but I’ve also been doing this a while and sort of get the idea of what we love is not what they love. It’s strange because I think of the remaining eight Big 12 teams as having significant value, but I obviously don’t understand the thought process. It bears repeating that the Pac-12 beat reporters consistently think that the Pac-12 doesn’t see value in adding teams. I generally don’t think that those guys are going to make things up.

It stinks that Texas Tech is in this predicament, but I still don’t’ know what could have been done to put Texas Tech in a favorable position other than becoming a blueblood, which was never going to happen (that’s obviously an opinion, but I do believe it). Regardless, I’ll still watch and go to games because I really enjoy doing that. Texas Tech had me at “hello”.

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