It has been a long time since three commissioners of Power 5 conferences sat down to talk about a new alliance on camera. They described this alliance as a collaborative approach that surrounds college athletics and scheduling's evolution. If you remember this mid-summer press conference and the announcements that followed, you'd notice that they just had cliches and talking points, and very few details.
There isn't any formal pact; there's nothing in writing, only the agreement of some gentlemen who hold a heck of a lot of power. Well, that's enough reason to be disappointed because immediately the Pac-12, Big Ten, or ACC states that they're of opposed opinion on what the alliance created. There's no doubt that this partnership will move to the wayside, partially because there isn't anything preventing it.
Well, I will believe the matter when it's of any relevance. Maybe the College Football Playoff Selection...? (When it's up for debate!)
For now, what it seems to be is more like a reaction to the expansion of the SEC that destroyed the Big 12 and also separated the league of Greg Sankey from the Pac-12, Big 10, and ACC.
As it stands, it mainly seems to be something more than a way of keeping the SEC in check and making sure the Pac-12, Big Ten, and ACC play a significant role in determining where and how they'll play the new games and the involved television networks. Basketball just had very little to do with this.
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But they did get around to making the first inter-Alliance events about basketball. The three conferences ended up creating a week of non-league matches between their member institutions.
These games will be both in the early season and midseason. So someday, we could get Duke at UCLA, North Carolina at Oregon, and/or Michigan. And that sounds fantastic to me. It'll be better when matchups are more interesting.
But the thing is that those coaches of excellent mid-major programs will be greatly frustrated when they read this. Because the thing they need to be mainly aware of is that all non-league game schools that are from the Pac-12, Big Ten, and ACC schedule against one another is one less non-league chance for them against a Power Five opponent.
Which matters a lot on Selection Sunday. There goes the continued separation…
For some time now, mid-major programs signing home-and-home series with power conference members have been an issue. Well, if they manage to hold up this alliance, it will get even more difficult, and that'll make it harder than ever for mid-major programs to create an at-large portfolio for the NCAA tournament.