Home Sports Skull Session: Pac-12 Considers Another “Alliance,” Notre Dame Wants to Stay Independent,...

Skull Session: Pac-12 Considers Another “Alliance,” Notre Dame Wants to Stay Independent, and Ohio State Has Massive Social Reach

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People, it’s here.

Word of the day: Latent.

THE ALLIANCE, PT. II. The first “loose partnership” the Pac-12 agreed to resulted in a quick stab in the back thanks to the Big Ten when it poached USC and UCLA. So the Pac-12’s answer is to…join another loose partnership?

What would a “flexible partnership” with ACC look like? This could include a shared media rights deal with ESPN, which is currently working with both entities. Also, it could lead to the remaining 10 Pac-12 teams sticking together and the winner of this “10-team split” playing in an ACC Championship game against the Pac-12 in Las Vegas at the end of the season. Also, there could be attractive regular season crossover matches between football and men’s basketball entities.

“Geography aside,” Thompson told me Tuesday, “(the ACC) has significantly better TV markets than the Big 12.”

As hilarious as it sounds, does it also sound awesome as a college football fan? I mean, if there’s anything that’s gonna keep me interested in the Pac-12 and the ACC amidst the Big Ten and the SEC just claiming college football for themselves, it’s a game. combined for the conference title in Vegas at the end of the year.

Someone is going to be the first team in college football history to win two conferences in one season, and that’s the rule. I love the new college football.

THIS IS MY LAST RESORT. For all of you hoping that this wave of conference realignment would be the thing to finally push Notre Dame into the Big Ten, don’t hold your breath.

You will be shocked to learn that it appears the Irish have no interest in joining a conference until essentially college football as we know it ceases to exist.

A source familiar with the school’s thinking told Sports Illustrated that “independence remains the clubhouse’s preference and leader.” It will take a long time to displace Notre Dame from its cherished identity, but the instability of the wider landscape remains a concern and could still affect the Irish outlook.

Two areas to watch: the fate of the college football playoffs and the Atlantic Coast Conference. If either or both collapse, Notre Dame could be forced into the Big Ten. According to his current contract, the playoffs will cease to exist in January 2026. There is no guarantee that another iteration of these will take its place, no matter how small. “The vast majority of the writing assumes a playoff, and that it’s going to get bigger,” the industry source explains. “I’m not sure about that assumption.”

The most interesting thing here for me is actually this part of the college football playoffs, because somehow I hadn’t even considered how all this nonsense was going to affect the playoffs.

I guess if the playoffs die, the winner of the new Big Ten can face the winner of the new SEC for the title every year. Sounds a bit lame, but realistically that’s what a playoff would likely give us anyway.

THE BRAND IS STRONG. If you want to know why Ohio State is still bringing in rookies looking for that precious NIL money even though the Buckeyes aren’t swinging that collective NIL money like other schools, it’s actually quite simple – the brand.

Ohio State’s national brand and social reach absolutely eclipses every other team in the country.

With this huge committed fan base, a star player with the Buckeyes will always, always be worth a premium in the NIL market.

THE SAVIOR OF UCLA. The Big Ten may have just saved UCLA’s athletic department.

The timing is uncertain and the number of teams that would have been affected is not known, but the Bruins were headed for an Olympic sporting Armageddon without the infusion of cash that will come with his departure from the Pac-12 Conference. in 2024.

Now its 25 teams and more than 700 athletes can expire knowing their future is secure, making those cross-country flights and freezing mid-winter temperatures in Big Ten country much more bearable.

“If you love Olympic sports, you should be a fan of this decision,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond told The Times on Tuesday. “When your program is heavily indebted, it’s hard to sustain it, let alone invest. This not only makes it possible to preserve the current programs—which was not certain—but also allows us to invest in them. This decision allows us to reimagine what UCLA athletics can be with more strategic investments and resources.

Over the past three fiscal years, UCLA’s athletic department had run up a deficit of $102.8 million that was only getting worse given the school’s declining football attendance and payouts. paltry Pac-12s that lagged behind their major conference counterparts. It’s now conceivable that the Bruins could receive $100 million from the Big Ten a year if the expanded conference can snag the projected billion-dollar media rights deal slated to begin in 2024.

That’s a big reason why I thought Stanford would be interested in following USC and UCLA into the Big Ten – it’s another absolutely huge sports program that could definitely use an infusion of cash to keep all of its 36 varsity sports.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi.

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