So, the news is out.
According to a release, “Today, the Big Ten, the ACC and Pac-12 announced an historic alliance that will bring 41 world-class institutions together on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics.”
Basically, the conferences’ schools will schedule more football and basketball games against each other to challenge the recently bolstered SEC, which added the Big 12’s Oklahoma and Texas.
It also, as I pointed out in last week’s blog, makes college athletics more exclusive.
Call it the country club mentality. When the SEC got stronger, the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC called each other, gathered and locked the doors after entering their new clubhouse — with the remaining Big 12 teams, including WVU, on the outside with their noses pressed against the window.
And I’ll again ask what I did last week: Why?
If you followed along today, Tuesday, you saw the agreement isn’t consummated in writing.
Said ACC commissioner Jim Phillips: “It’s about trust. We’ve looked each other in the eye and made an agreement…If (a signed contract) is what it takes to get something considerable done, then we’ve lost our way.”
Is that not rich? SEC commissioner Greg Sankey looked Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby in the eye during college football playoff expansion talks knowing full well he was swiping UT and OU.
And speaking of rich, check out these quotes from the Alliance presser:
From Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren: “I have the utmost respect for Bob Bowlsby. He has been a great leader.”
And from ACC commish Jim Phillips: “We want and need the Big 12 to do well. The Big 12 matters in college athletics. The Big 12 matters in Power 5 athletics.”
So, let’s go back again to my point from last week:
Then why in the world wasn’t the league included in this alliance – especially when there was no ironclad agreement?
Why be exclusive when you can be inclusive without penalty?
Would WVU not bring more value to the ACC playing Virginia Tech, Virginia and, for goodness sake, Pitt, than Oregon State?
Would Oklahoma State not bring more value to a game against Arizona or Stanford than Indiana?
You get my point. Yes, the remaining Big 12 teams may not be Ohio State, USC or Clemson (although I remember a certain Big 12 team putting 70 up on the Tigers one time), but they are still as or more attractive than, say, Wake Forest.
Why put on the squeeze – and, as I pointed out last week, turn off the fans of – the eight remaining Big 12 schools? Does that help college athletics?
Of course not.
Lose the country club mentality, guys.
And look at being inclusive.
+ + +
Mitch Vingle covered sports in West Virginia for 38 years. Follow Mitch on Twitter at @MitchVingle and be sure to check out the rest of Wheelhouse Creative’s website for your marketing and advertising needs. If interested, call us at 304-905-6005.