The Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 are expected to formally announce their long-awaited alliance on Tuesday afternoon, sources close to the situation tell CBS Sports. The agreement between the three conferences will focus on NCAA governance and college football scheduling, but the leagues also plan to get on the same page regarding future College Football Playoff expansion.
Realignment among the three conferences has not been part of their discussions and will not be an issue addressed with the alliance. However, a significant portion of alliance conversations have been based on ensuring that athletes' academic success remains integral to the college sports experience.
"Some of things we've been doing to ourselves, that just needs to stop," said one high-profile official from a school within the would-be alliance. "Some of this shit, we're talking about expanding to 12 [teams]. For two teams that [go all the way], that's 17 games. We're going to talk about 'these kids aren't professionals' and we don't pay them? I firmly believe in the academic value of what we're doing, but at a certain point, it looks like professionals. … I firmly believe in the academic piece that we're providing."
The Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 have actively been engaged in discussions about forming a scheduling alliance for at least two weeks. The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach first reported that an announcement would come Tuesday.
Why is the alliance necessary?
The alliance became a priority for the three Power Five conferences after Texas and Oklahoma moved to the SEC from the Big 12. Talks between the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 have been described to CBS Sports as a "non-aggression pact" against the SEC after the Big 12 was destabilized following the losses of the Longhorns and Sooners. That power grab tipped the scales toward the SEC in future college athletics dealings.
College athletics as a whole remains wary of the SEC and ESPN dominating … everything. Big 12 revenues will decline by at least 50% with the losses of Texas and Oklahoma. It would serve ESPN well financially if the Big 12 were to fade away as that would be one less set of TV rights to pay out.