Well, this is depressing.
In a joint press release sent out Friday, the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced that they were suspending the non-conference scheduling agreement announced in late December of last year.
The agreement called for each of the 12 members of the Pac-12 to face a member of the 12-school Big Ten in football beginning in 2017. The scheduling pact would also extend to other sports within the leagues.
Statements by the respective conference commissioners can be read below, but the gist is that a handful of Pac-12 schools reportedly had reservations about the agreement because the league plays a nine-game slate — that’s been rumored for some time. The Big Ten, on the other hand, only plays and eight-game conference schedule.
It’s a disappointing move for fans, and you can kiss the “playoff will force stronger scheduling” argument goodbye.
Anyway, here are the statements:
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott:
“After extensive deliberation and consultation with member institutions, television partners and others,
the Pac-12 and Big Ten have decided not to pursue the previously announced plans for enhanced
scheduling collaboration across all sports at this time. While we continue to value our close relationship,
particularly our partnership in the Rose Bowl, the Pac-12 came to the conclusion that it’s in our
best interests to maintain our 9-game conference schedule and maximum flexibility in out-of-conference
scheduling. Thus, the Pac-12 decided not to lock into the proposed mandatory 12-game
schedule in football.”
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany:
“We are disappointed to announce today that the Big Ten Pac-12 strategic collaboration announced
jointly in December 2011 unfortunately will not be consummated. We recently learned from Pac-12
Commissioner Larry Scott that the complications associated with coordinating a non-conference football
schedule for 24 teams across two conferences proved to be too difficult. Those complications,
among other things, included the Pac-12’s nine-game conference schedule and previous nonconference
“A great effort was made by both conference staffs to create football schedules that would address the
variety of complexities, but in the end, we were just not able to do so.
“While everyone at the Big Ten is disappointed by the news, we look forward to continuing the historic
partnership that we have with the Pac-12 and to working together on other matters in the future.”