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:
Today, the Big Ten, @theACC and @pac12 announce an historic alliance that will bring 41 world-class institutions together on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics.
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) August 24, 2021
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?
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:
More to come later, possibly, but what we’ve learned about The Alliance so far:
— No signed contract, but they trust each other.
— Haven’t figured out what their scheduling alliance will look like.
— Haven’t decided yet if they support the 12-team CFP model.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) August 24, 2021
- You read that right. There are no contracts. The commissioners seem unconcerned about the lack of legal framework though:
Big Ten commish Kevin Warren: “If you have to go back and look at a contract that you signed, then you probably entered a deal with the wrong parties.”
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) August 24, 2021
- 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.
Whenever I’m ready to get something considerable done I always go with the guy with the firmest handshake and the most stubborn reluctance to sign anything. https://t.co/UGky8ey0AE
— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) August 24, 2021
Kevin Warren: “I wouldn’t say this is a reaction to Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC.”
Crazy. The timing was purely coincidental. Who’d have thunk it?
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) August 24, 2021
Alliance zoom backgrounds! pic.twitter.com/dwl6zQ0KQ1
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 24, 2021
Really need one more face to “The Alliance” pic.twitter.com/xdWDS31IiC
— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) August 24, 2021
I can’t wait for NC State to turn on the Alliance, tear apart their Alliance t-shirt and throw it at UNC, Michigan, and UCLA, then get a surprise run-in from Nevada to form Alliance: Wolfpac. https://t.co/la9GaKWEIG
— MaskEd (@Ace95Boiler16) August 24, 2021
This alliance feels like when my friends and I would start clubs when we were little and then forget about them after like 2 weeks
— Lauren Brownlow (@lebrownlow) August 24, 2021
Yeah this smells like three new conference commissioners trying to show how busy they are and get some good pub, with maybe some fringe ancillary benefits if things go a certain way https://t.co/Zizy8csbSr
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) August 24, 2021
The Alliance serves the same purpose as asking your partner what they want for dinner. We’re definitely going to have dinner. We have no idea what we want for dinner, when we want dinner, or where we want dinner. But we’re definitely going to eat dinner. Unless we don’t.
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) August 24, 2021
The Alliance is really just like one of those classroom lists of all the parents numbers. If you have a playdate opening next week, here’s a list of numbers to try first.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 24, 2021
Big Ten, ACC, & Pac-12: pic.twitter.com/UTzNN1vxIH
— Half Court Hoops (@HalfCourtHoops) August 24, 2021
Leaked Powerpoint from the B1G, ACC, and PAC-12 pic.twitter.com/2SytewlKMB
— Justin VanLaere ▶ (@storminspank) August 24, 2021
We won’t know how big a deal this whole … thing … is for a couple years.
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) August 24, 2021
So this ACC/B1G/P12 Alliance basically just symbolic and nothing else at the moment.
Maybe schedule in the future, but not blowing up current contracts.
No contract to tie together.
It’s really just about being on the same page for the CFP future and NCAA changes.
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) August 24, 2021
An alliance was never going to create a 41-member super conference. It is about aligning on policy and governance issues and doing *something* to try to provide checks and balances across college sports.
Now, we’ll see what it does in the coming months and years.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 24, 2021
So what did we learn today? pic.twitter.com/VaftyA8vZf
— Message Board Geniuses (@BoardGeniuses) August 24, 2021
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.