Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC Kick-off New Alliance Just Days Before Football Season
Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC Announce Partnership – Part 1 of 2
Editor’s note: Cristina Walters joins The Mighty Bruin team today with her first article. We are looking forward to her perspective as we move forward. Please join me in welcoming her.
If you would also like to join The Mighty Bruin team, please email me at joe at themightybruin dot com. - JP
Just days ahead of the official kickoff of the 2021 college football season, three of the five Power Conferences announced a highly anticipated alliance Tuesday. Taking a different page from the same playbook that Texas, Oklahoma and the SEC setup are the Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC.
In just his second month on the job, Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff explained, “The historic alliance announced between the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten is grounded in a commitment to our student-athletes. We believe that by collaborating together, we are stronger in our commitment to addressing the broad issues and opportunities facing college athletics.”
Before we envision such annual match-ups as Oregon vs. Clemson in football and UCLA vs. Duke in men’s basketball, Tuesday’s announcement focused on the holistic advantages to 41 campuses that together lead the nation in academics and athletics. Thirty-four of 41 institutions are ranked in the Top 100 national universities by US News & World Report, while the three conferences boast 1,019 NCAA Championships.
Bruins fans can be particularly proud that UCLA is currently ranked #1 in the nation for public universities and #2 in the nation (behind Stanford) for most NCAA team championships at 119.
Not surprisingly, 41 presidents, chancellors, and athletics directors alike unanimously supported a partnership to address future challenges and opportunities affecting college athletics through collective thought leadership. Such components include: the future structure of the NCAA, gender equity, postseason championships and future formats, student-athletes’ mental and physical health, safety, wellness and support, a strong academic experience, diversity, equity and inclusion, and federal legislation efforts.
Of course, sports fans in all three conferences can anticipate inter-conference scheduling for football and men’s and women’s basketball that will offer exciting, new clashes, while maintaining historic rivalries.
Contrary to SEC devotee and ESPN’s Paul Finebaum’s baseless, yet well-documented criticism of this new alliance, the leverage of combining the nation’s second largest media market (Los Angeles) with prominent fan bases in the Big Ten and strong brand equity among ACC teams looks to raise the games of student-athletes, fans and countless others in the coming months and years.