The SEC is currently doing what it can to become a super-conference. The conference has poached Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12, with rumors that they’re also wooing others, including Clemson and Florida State from the ACC, and Michigan and Ohio State from the Big Ten. It would seem that the SEC is determined to become the first super-conference of at least 16 teams, and perhaps up to 20.
I’ve long been a believer that super-conferences are the way of the future, as I believe the money-sharing (read: money-making) is at its highest when more teams can bargain a TV or media agreement collectively.
But recent news hints that there may be another way to attain just such a feat, without having to resort to murdering other conferences for their strongest members. It would seem that the Big Ten, the ACC, and the Pac-12 are working on a formal agreement to form an alliance.
MMQB asks - what would your ideal Big Ten-ACC-Pac-12 alliance look like?
I think the first thing is revenue sharing. Would each conference keep their own money earned, or would the three actively collaborate? If the alliance goes through, a total of 40 different academic institutions would be represented, more than double the SEC. Would these schools all band together to share wealth, and negotiate a group TV deal? Or would there still be some regionality to any finances?
Second is scheduling. The Pac-12 and Big Ten already play 9-game conference slates, while the ACC only plays 8. Would all three conferences adopt a similar scheduling setup? Perhaps 8 conference games, then one game against each of the other conferences? So Penn State would play 8 games against the B1G, then one against the Pac-12 and one against the ACC? How do you figure out home-and-away? Is it based on how you finished last season (first place plays first place, second vs second, etc.)?
Third is the remnants of the Big 12. The conference is still currently afloat, technically, but rumors are swirling that a lot of the teams left behind by Texas and Oklahoma want out. West Virginia to the ACC? Kansas to the B1G? Some of the Texas teams to the Pac-12? Does this alliance effectively absorb what’s left of the Big 12?
Fourth is Notre Dame. The Domers have an agreement with the ACC for football, but are still independent. Given the currently proposed 12-team expansion would deprive ND of a first-round bye, will Notre Dame finally cave and join one of the alliance conferences?
Many questions, and not a ton of answers, but if the three conferences can pull it off, they can effectively take control of the college football narrative, rather than all of them playing second fiddle to the SEC. Strength in numbers, as it were.