A few years back the Big Ten and Pac-12 reached an agreement to organize a conference-wide scheduling agreement in which 12 members of the Big Ten would take on all 12 schools f the Pac-12 on an annual basis. The concept is similar to one the Big Ten has in basketball with the ACC, but the idea never became a reality as the Pac-12 backed out of the deal before it could ever materialize on paper. Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema hopes to revive the idea with the hope of having the SEC and Big Ten work out an agreement to have a similar conference-wide competition during the regular season.
“I thought was just so cool to see crossover games at the beginning of the year,” Bielema said at SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, per Al.com. “Let the commissioners come together and decide who’s playing them or an outside source. Have the Big Ten and the SEC go together on two different weekends, seven teams … It would be an awesome thing for everybody involved.”
It would be awesome. Too bad it will never happen, in all likelihood. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey brushed aside the idea, refusing to discuss hypotheticals, although he praised Bielema for his outside-the-box thinking.
“We generally call those bowl games,” Sankey said, “but I appreciate the creative thought that’s out there. … The First Amendment is alive and well in Destin, Florida.”
Because of the nature of college football scheduling, it could take at least a decade to put together any such scheduling arrangement, if not more. There are simply too many scheduling philosophies from both sides that get in the way, such as the Big Ten using a nine-game conference schedule compared to the SEC’s eight-game conference schedule, already existing crossover rivalry games against schools from the ACC for a handful of SEC programs and the all important need to guarantee a minimum number of home games per season by each member of a power conference. But it’s a great concept and it would work out great in a non-existent NCAA Football game. It just will never happen in real life unless we see a complete breaking off of the power conferences to their own model, which would likely involve the Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC.
Imagine annual matchups between schools like Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska and LSU, Penn State, Florida, Wisconsin and Arkansas (Bielema Bowl). It would sure be a lot of fun, but we’ll just have to keep dreaming instead.