Realignment Today: As reports surface of a power conference alliance moving forward, at least one of those conferences remains open to expansion
As the alliance between the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 continues to move toward reality, at least one of those conferences appears to still be considering expansion.
The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach reported Friday that a formal announcement about the alliance between the three power conferences could be announced as soon as next week.
Her report indicates that in addition to making sense from a scheduling standpoint, the potential grouping is on the table because key people within all three conferences still value the college model and do not want to see it destroyed.
That means academics, offering a variety of sports and preserving the idea that those who wear the uniforms and produce the highlights are student-athletes will remain a central mission in all three conferences.
As for the alliance itself, there does not appear to be anything new there regarding the schools that are involved. The Big 12 Conference’s eight others still appear to be on the outside looking in.
But that does not mean things are completely stagnant with regard to those eight schools — or at least a few of them — still trying to make moves to land in a power conference when the new landscape becomes a reality, be that in one year, four years or anywhere in between.
In a recent article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, new Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff indicated that the conference, though happy with the 12 members it currently has, could still be open to the idea of expansion.
“I think we’re really, really happy with the 12 that we have in the league,” Kliavkoff told the paper. “The opportunity to revisit that following Texas and Oklahoma has certainly presented itself. I am not actively poaching any school or convincing anyone to leave their existing conference, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t listening to schools that wanted to go in the Pac-12, and we’ve had a lot of them reach out. Probably all of the ones you would expect and several you’d be surprised by.”
Kliavkoff went on to say that the conference has conducted “initial meetings” with every university that has expressed an interest in joining the Pac-12 or aligning with the league in some manner.
No specific names were mentioned, but Kliavkoff said the conference had formed a working group that handles such activity. That group will be the one to recommend — or not recom-mend — the direction the Pac-12 goes from here.
While such a set up might seem open-ended, Kliavkoff told the Review-Journal that there was a deadline of sorts in place because of his desire to help calm the raging river that currently is the future of college athletics.
“There’s no hard deadline related to any of this,” he told the paper. “But I would say I don’t think it’s good for college athletics given the vibration that’s going on as a result of the Texas and Oklahoma news. The quicker we can dampen that vibration, the better. We will have a decision on whether we intend to expand or not in the next couple of weeks.”