Reports: Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC alliance expected to be formally announced soon

The Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC are expected to formally announce their alignment as early as next week, The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach reported. The details of the alliance remain murky, as there are countless factors to process, though issues of governance remain front and center.

The report states that the conferences are like-minded in prioritizing broad-based sports offerings and the academics for their schools, particularly with graduating athletes. Each league in the alliance averages more than 22 different sports per campus; SEC schools average 19.9.

Auerbach also reported that those involved in the new alignment still believe in the "collegiate model" and want to avoid turning college football into a minor league system for the NFL, even for those who support NIL. 

Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Tyreke Smith (11) tackles Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) on a run in the third quarter during the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021.

The alliance came in response to the SEC adding Oklahoma and Texas to become a 16-team conference.

According to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, the conference commissioners, George Kliavkoff (Pac-12), Kevin Warren (Big Ten) and Jim Phillips (ACC), have been in regular communication. The alliance hopes to  "create stability without schools moving conferences."

The SEC's addition of Texas and Oklahoma, plus commissioner Greg Sankey's involvement in the proposed 12-team College Football Playoff model, has been seen as an attempt to consolidate power and is a concern of the conferences within the proposed alliance, Rittenberg reported.

Another cause for concern, Aurbach reported, is ESPN. The network has the rights to all SEC football games starting in 2024 and there's concern ESPN may grab the expanded playoff rights because it negotiates during its exclusive window before 2026. ESPN's current broadcast rights for the playoffs end in 2025.