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Big Ten alliance with Pac-12, ACC can spread 'Nebraska brand from coast to coast'

Big Ten alliance with Pac-12, ACC can spread 'Nebraska brand from coast to coast'

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2021 team captains react to the role and its significance

The Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 announced an alliance Tuesday that will work together “on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling” with a clear eye on the growing power of the SEC.

Conference officials have been discussing the idea for weeks, but commissioners Kevin Warren of the Big Ten, Jim Phillips of the ACC and George Kliavkoff of the Pac-12 — all relatively new to their positions — acknowledged the plan publicly for the first time.

“There’s no contract. There’s no signed document. There doesn’t need to be,” Kliavkoff said.

Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts and Chancellor Ronnie Green released a joint statement following the announcement, saying the alliance "presents an opportunity" for the 41 schools in those conferences to "work collaboratively."

"In our discussions it was obvious the institutions in these three conferences share many of the same values both academically and athletically," the statement read in part. "Working cooperatively best aligns our member 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.”

The move comes less than a month after the SEC invited Texas and Oklahoma to join the league and create a 16-school league by 2025. The move sent shockwaves through college athletics and will leave the Big 12 without its two premier schools in the paydirt sport of football.

The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 hope its alliance of 41 schools that span from Miami to Seattle leads to stability at the top of big-time college sports and thwarts future realignment.

The alliance is also being formed as the NCAA begins the process of handing off more responsibility to conferences and schools to run college sports, and with a proposal to expand the College Football Playoff in the pipeline.

The scheduling piece could lead to multiple nonconference football games per season between the league members, creating new and valuable television inventory.

Just how soon that might happen wasn't clear: Nonconference football schedules are typically made years in advance and many schools already have mostly full slates in the coming seasons.

For example,  Nebraska football has home-and-home series scheduled with Tennessee in 2026 and 2027 and Oklahoma State in 2034 and 2035.

It is unclear how an ACC-Big Ten-Pac-12 alliance would account for future games already in place and traditional ACC-SEC rivalries such as Clemson-South Carolina and Georgia-Georgia Tech.

An alliance involving the conferences could impact basketball scheduling more immediately, where schedules are usually made months, instead of years, in advance.

Reporting from the Associated Press was used for this story.


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