The Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC could make a formal announcement next week on their alignment, The Athletic reported Friday. The broader details behind the alliance have yet to be ironed out but there are school administrators who want the focus of collegiate athletics to be about academics along with sports instead of looking like a minor league system for professional sports, the report said.
Part of the reasoning for the new alignment between three of the Power 5 conferences is to reportedly delay the expansion of the College Football Playoff, which is set to expand in 2023. The three conferences expressed dismay the playoff format was expanded without input from reps of the particular conferences, according to The Athletic.
The conferences have reportedly been in contact with one another since Oklahoma and Texas announced their intentions to jump ship to the SEC.
The timeline appears to still be sketchy on when the alignment will officially form and what it could mean for television contracts in the future.
Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney, who competes in the ACC, predicted more expansion when asked about realignment and the Sooners’ and Longhorns’ departures.
“This is the first domino to fall,” he said via WTFF-TV. “Ultimately, the more expansion you have, the more you’re going to have super conferences. And probably somewhere down the road … there probably will be some type of 40-, 50- or 60-team league that has its own commissioner and a 12-, 16-team Playoff. I don’t know.
“That’s probably ultimately where it’s going, but right now [for me], it’s all about trying to get ready for Georgia on Sept. 4. I’ve got my hands full. We’ve got camp starting next week and all of that [realignment] stuff will take care of itself sooner or later. It is what it is and in [a coaches’] role, we don’t really have any input in that. Our job is to get our teams ready and play by whatever rules they give us. And that’s what we’ll do.”
Swinney was also an opponent of College Football Playoff expansion, saying last month his team doesn’t want to play more games and feared the more expansion in the playoff system, the more college football becomes the NFL.