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Big Ten, Pac-12 suspend non-conference agreement

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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.”

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32 Responses to “Big Ten, Pac-12 suspend non-conference agreement”
  1. fcmlefty1 says: Jul 13, 2012 12:45 PM

    Too bad this didn’t work out. Sounds like the Big 10 is more disapointed than the PAC 12, but thats inderstandable due to the whole 8 game vs 9 game conference schedule thing. I’d like to see the Big 10 pursue this type of arangement with another conference because its a good idea in my opinion. Big East could be a prime candidate, as they too will be playing a 12 team, 8 game conference slate in thier new configuration.

  2. frug says: Jul 13, 2012 12:47 PM

    I wonder if this means the Big 10 is going to reconsider a 9 game schedule. They were originally planning on instituting one in 2017 to coincide with their new TV deal, but scrapped the idea after they agreed to the PAC alliance.

  3. palmbeachbuckeye says: Jul 13, 2012 1:26 PM

    Bring on Akron, Youngstown State, and Northern Illinois!!!

  4. thraiderskin says: Jul 13, 2012 1:47 PM

    wow… I was really excited about this deal, was actually hoping it would be a kick start to all conferences locking up with a partner to give us better games. After this anouncement, it suddenly makes the Pac12’s and B1G’s flip to a post season play-off all the more fishy. Looks like my Buckeyes will continue to own Ohio, for whatever good that is.

  5. stoutfiles says: Jul 13, 2012 1:50 PM

    Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott:
    “After extensive deliberation, the Pac-12 has decided not to work with a conference that has a team that cares more about football than stopping child molestation.”

  6. bertenheim says: Jul 13, 2012 2:00 PM

    The Big Ten and SEC should partner to justify their 8-game league scheds.

  7. drummerhoff says: Jul 13, 2012 2:05 PM

    Looks like Jim Delany’s plot to force Notre Dame into joining a conference has gone to crap…

    Reading between the lines: USC & Stanford would rather schedule ND than play some B1G school and Michigan, Michigan State & Purdue would rather play a PAC 12 school than ND each season.

    Maybe the B1G and ACC misfits can create a football relationship like the basketball challenge.

  8. stoutfiles says: Jul 13, 2012 2:14 PM

    Why would Michigan State & Purdue not want to play ND? All of their games are nationally televised on NBC.

  9. dkhhuey says: Jul 13, 2012 2:39 PM

    Well that SUCKS!!! I was looking forward to my Buckeyes being out here and just a quick road trip away!

  10. takingbovadasmoney says: Jul 13, 2012 2:45 PM

    Drummer needs to start reading the lines and not between them. ND is irrelevant. Frankly, the Big 10 and Pac 12 would be better served scheduling competition better than an under achieving not so fighting Irish.

    I think both conferences will benefit from this, assuming they step up and schedule good programs.

  11. danoregon says: Jul 13, 2012 2:45 PM

    I wish the NCAA would limit teams to two home non-conference games. It would pretty much force the rest of the big six to go to a nine-game conference schedule and promote a more even playing field.
    Maybe teams schedule more neutral site games and fewer patsies.
    Instead, you have the power teams staying home, fattening up their coffers and win totals against low D1 and FCS schools.

  12. Deb says: Jul 13, 2012 3:34 PM

    bertenheim says:

    The Big Ten and SEC should partner to justify their 8-game league scheds.
    As an SEC fan, I’d prefer our conference move up to a 9-game schedule. If not, then let’s play the Pac-12 or the Big-12. Frankly, the B1G isn’t the most competitive of the major conferences, and SOS will count in determining who makes the playoffs.

  13. takingbovadasmoney says: Jul 13, 2012 5:26 PM

    Doesn’t the SEC and Big 12 have a scheduling agreement in place?

  14. Deb says: Jul 13, 2012 5:41 PM

    @takingbovadasmoney …

    We have a bowl agreement for the two conference champs to meet, but we don’t have a scheduling agreement like the one described for the Pac 12/B1G.

  15. papabush88 says: Jul 13, 2012 5:43 PM


    The SEC has a scheduling agreement with the weakest FCS schools it can find as well as Sun Belt conference. I think the SEC is overall best conference, but is rather top heavy.

    To everyone else: Pac 12 B1G would’ve been kind of cool, but they already get a chance to play each other in Rose Bowl. Would rather have Pac 12 schedule SEC in regular season, unless the SEC is too busy playing Alabama A & M, Jacksonville State, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern, Samford, Towson, Central Arkansas, Wofford, Georgia State, McNeese State and Presbyterian Missouri.

  16. papabush88 says: Jul 13, 2012 5:46 PM

    With that said, I’ve never been a fan of Larry Scott. He’s terrible. The SEC’s commissioner, Mike Slive is way better in that he actually protects his own conference. Scott lumped the Pac 12 conf title game as a “post season” game which made USC (the clear cut best team in the South) ineligible. Instead, Oregon had to play UCLA (whom USC had beaten the week prior 50-0). A rematch of USC-Oregon would’ve been better. Speaking of rematches, anyone catch that thriller LSU-Alabama Part Deux?

  17. drummerhoff says: Jul 13, 2012 6:45 PM


    If the PAC12-B1G had agreed to play combined with the 9 game conference schedule and preferred 7 home/5 away format, Notre Dame would have lost up to five of its traditional games/rivals.

  18. orthomarine says: Jul 13, 2012 7:04 PM

    “our tv partners”. Aka ESPN is our daddy

  19. Deb says: Jul 13, 2012 7:34 PM

    @papabush88 …

    Yes, as a USC fan you can be a little sanctimonious. But the rest of your conference plays FCS teams, too, hon. So don’t sit too high on that horse or you’ll get knocked off by the low-hanging limbs around you. Almost all the major teams can be tarred with that brush. You guys and Notre Dame are in rarified air.

    I don’t like it and don’t think any FBS teams, including mine, should be allowed to schedule from the FCS. As I said, I’d rather have a scheduling agreement to meet a Pac-12 team every year.

  20. papabush88 says: Jul 13, 2012 7:47 PM


    Very true. Most schools schedule FCS teams. USC, ND, and UCLA are only teams that NEVER have. But I will continue to sit on my high horse, because I didn’t go to the University of the Pac 12. I went to USC. While I quietly root for the Pac 12 to win their bowl games, I don’t tout USC’s Pac 12 foes like SO MANY SEC fans tout their conference. Too many University of SEC fans out there. Not saying you are one of them, Deb. You have always been fair and called things as you saw them, and I respect that. But I could care less if Oregon schedules FCS schools. I don’t like Oregon. In fact, it makes USC look even better that they don’t stoop to the same level that Oregon does (not to mention the ridiculous uniforms). I focus on my own team. That’s it. I’m a USC Trojan, not a Larry Scott Pac 12-er.

  21. One Up the Bum says: Jul 13, 2012 8:52 PM

    And Delaney is all about consummating…

  22. drummerhoff says: Jul 13, 2012 9:14 PM

    Any east coast school that agrees to play USC at a neutral site is as low as an FCS team.

    If you don’t have the clout to schedule home-and-home, what the difference between Samford & Syracuse? They are both selling out for a pay check written by the ‘haves’ of college football.

  23. Deb says: Jul 13, 2012 9:59 PM

    @papabush88 …

    Yes, SEC conference loyalty (which is only for outsiders–inside we’re at each other’s throats) is an odd cultural thing, so I understand your point. Fortunately, mine is one SEC team that doesn’t need to bask in reflected glory, so I’m good either way :) Despite the recent hiccups, I have a lot of respect for that USC program. Their refusal to schedule FCS teams is just one reason they stand apart.

    And yes, those Oregon uniforms are a mess! 😉

  24. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Jul 14, 2012 1:31 AM

    Say what you may about FCS schools, they depend and need the $$$s offered by big programs. Unlike FBS, FCS don’t get the kind of pay checks and tv deals that FBS schools get. This is why they sacrifice themselves, and every now and then they’ll get lucky, don’t believe me, ask Michigan.
    What’s the difference if LSU plays one FCS school and USC or ND plays somebody like UCF, La Tech, Temple, or even Miami OH…. Do you really think the odds are that much different?

  25. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Jul 14, 2012 1:35 AM

    Is Stanford better than Alabama or LSU bc they don’t play FCS? How about ND?
    Lot of people whine bc two SEC schools played in the BCSNG… What are your going to do when three SEC schools makes the four team playoff one of this year?

  26. Deb says: Jul 14, 2012 1:32 PM

    @thecrazyasian …

    I don’t want SEC teams playing FCS schools simply because it leaves us vulnerable to criticism that’s difficult to combat. As SOS becomes a factor in deciding playoff berths, we can’t afford to take the risk that an FCS team on the schedule would be a liability. But personally, I think Georgia Southern’s triple option is tougher than what other teams see from some of the FBS schools you mentioned. If they’d been playing it when Bama scheduled them for last season … Bama wouldn’t have scheduled them 😉

    Wish you were right about three SEC teams making the playoffs, but I don’t think they’ll allow that to happen in a four-team field–no matter how good our teams are. Maybe if they expand to an eight-team field.

  27. bertenheim says: Jul 14, 2012 2:30 PM

    Never has a conference so desperately needed something to hide behind as the SEC has behind AL and LSU.

  28. alligatorsnapper says: Jul 14, 2012 3:45 PM

    My, what long shadows the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide cast! I seriously doubt that Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina (USC) or even the recent hapless Ole Miss Rebels, Miss. State, or Kentucky, or the new members Missouri or A&M would ever consider, much less actually, “hid behind” LSU or AL. Especially not when all the remaining 10 teams usually play their best games against these two teams, as they usually play against one another.

  29. sssjim7 says: Jul 14, 2012 5:14 PM

    Bummer… it would have been nice to see the B1G and PAC12 line up and play each other every year.

    As far as I know, most SOS calculations do not even count FCS teams as games played. I am sure if they did start counting them, it would have a profound impact on scheduling. Some of the top FCS teams would even have a better rating than the bottom FBS teams.

    I am looking forward to how this plays out. The new playoffs look interesting, but I fear that it will somehow end up being messed up by special interests.

    Oh well…

  30. dmcgrann says: Jul 14, 2012 6:53 PM


    I wonder – do you think that the PAC12 thinks that Penn State won’t be participating?

  31. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Jul 14, 2012 7:18 PM

    I agree with you FBS shouldn’t schedule FCS, However I do understand why most schools do it. And for any one to criticize SEC teams bc of it are hypocrites.
    For the three teams that doesn’t play FCS schools, its not really a huge accomplishment to be applauded … Now will you only schedule potential top 25 teams only then I’ll say you BAD!!! Till then

  32. papabush88 says: Jul 14, 2012 8:17 PM


    Glad you could see it my way. Many of the OOC opponents USC plays were scheduled years in advance. For example, USC and Texas scheduled a home and home series a few years back which will take place in 2017 and 2018. Hopefully Texas and USC will be strong teams then, but you never know. USC has done pretty good job in the last ten years with scheduling against strong teams. Virginia Tech, Ohio St, Auburn twice, Arkansas twice, Nebraska twice, Kansas State (when they were good in 2001/2002), and Fresno State (who was ranked 16 when we played them). Don’t forget Notre Dame, whom I know has been weak recently, but in the last ten years they’ve had some solid years. Is it possible that some FCS schools might actually be better than the worst of the FBS schools? Sure. Not many though. But still no reason to schedule games against them. Most important thing is to try and schedule against FBS, AQ, and/or BCS schools.

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