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What Does The ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 Alliance Mean For Smaller Conferences?

Probably nothing good, assuming it lasts

UCLA v Duke
Could Duke-UCLA become a more regular thing with the alliance?
Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

The new alliance between the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 proposes to do good things for those conferences, but what about the others?

Good question.

As Gary Parrish points out, the more games that the three schedule amongst themselves, the less there are for other conferences to latch onto.

The AAC Commissioner, Mike Aresco, has already said he wants in.

Of course there are two major aspects to the whole situation: football and basketball.

In basketball, it’s next to impossible for lesser conferences to get Power Five teams to play at their venues and of course, you need good games to get a decent seed and sometimes just to get in. And unlike football, the tournament needs those teams to get in and to pull upsets. That’s the charm of the whole thing.

As tough as that path is, it’s even harder in football. First, there are 64 fewer games and even expanding the playoffs won't make it much better. You can run the table in those leagues and not get a sniff for the postseason because you don’t have any “quality wins” - meaning that you don't have any Power Five teams on your schedule.

On the other hand, as of now the alliance is still mostly theoretical although it could happen faster in basketball than football. It could all fall apart in no time too. We’re in totally uncharted waters.