Pac-12 and Big Ten Agree to Inter-Conference Schedule in 2017

December 28, 2011

The Pac-12 Conference and the Big Ten have announced a collaborative effort to increase long-term scheduling commitments between the two conferences across all sports.

The agreement will feature more games between the two conferences in an effort to broaden the national scope of both conferences. Details of the new effort will continue to unfold as administrators and conference staff members meet in the coming year.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 share a tradition of intercollegiate competition, dating back to the inaugural Rose Bowl Game in 1902. The two conferences have met in Pasadena on 62 occasions, including 55 consecutive meetings from 1947-2001.

With the creation of the BCS however, the traditional Rose Bowl battle no longer requires that the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions square off in Pasadena each year. Last season, the Big Ten's Wisconsin faced mid-major TCU in the "Grandaddy of them all," while Pac-12 champion Oregon competed in the BCS title game.

In a climate of conference expansion mania permeating throughout the NCAA, consider this arrangement "expansion-lite." Essentially, each conference will get to play a new set of schools on a regular basis, but without the burden of having to actually incorporate any of those institutions into their conferences.

“As other conferences continue to grow through expansion, we believe there is great merit in deepening the historic relationship between the Big Ten and Pac-12,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “We believe that both conferences can preserve that sense of collegiality and still grow nationally by leveraging our commonalities in a way that benefits student-athletes, fans and alumni. This collaboration can and will touch many institutional undertakings, and will complement our academic and athletic missions.”

The move also figures to expand the recruiting base of both conferences, with the Big Ten gaining an increased foothold into California's coveted football recruiting base. Likewise, the Pac-12 will stand to gain in basketball by increasing their access to Midwest recruits.

Moreover, the arrangement seems logical for the Pac-12, as there not only is a tradition of competition between the conferences, but also a comparable standard of academic excellence. From an academic standpoint, the agreement makes more sense than a collaboration with the SEC.

In football, the objective will be to create an annual 12 inter-conference game schedule between the two conferences by the 2017 season.

The plan calls for each school to play an opponent from the other conference every year with some flexibility built into the process to respect existing post-2017 FBS non-conference match-ups. Additionally, more inter-conference games are expected to appear sooner based on schedule openings.

“Through numerous conversations over the past several months with stakeholders from the Big Ten and Pac-12, we decided there would be great value in building upon the history and collegiality that exists between our member institutions, by initially committing to an increased frequency of play between our schools in all sports,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.

Many sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, could see an increased level of inter-conference competition in the near term, possibly as early as the 2012-13 academic year. Over the coming months there will be a series of detailed scheduling planning meetings among administrators of both conferences to work out exact details.

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald

1 comment:

  1. Yes, all the arrangement seems logical . I am waiting for Pac2 college basketball.



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