The Alliance

On August 24, 2021, the Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 announced a “historic alliance that will bring 41 world-class institutions together on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics.”

Less than a year later, the Big Ten poached UCLA and USC from the Pac-12 and reasserted itself as the main competition to the SEC, leaving their Alliance brethren to fight it out amongst themselves for the table scraps.

“The three conferences remain competitors in every sense but are committed to collaborating and providing thought leadership on various opportunities and challenges facing college athletics,” read the statement from the Big Ten, which is laughable now.

On the one-year anniversary of the “historic alliance,” the college football world had a field day on Twitter commenting on how flimsy the partnership was and the mess that the Big Ten left in its wake.

The Alliance was meant to stem the tide of the SEC after conference realignment shuffled the deck in their favor. However, while the move sounded good at the moment, the Big Ten soon realized that it held way more cards than the Pac-12, ACC, and Big 12, and did what it had to do to capitalize on that, and is apparently still working on expanding more.

The Pac-12 has since tried to put together a “loose partnership” with the Big 12 but those plans fell apart. In general, you’d think everyone would have learned by now that it’s every conference for themselves. Maybe they’ll learn that lesson before it’s too late…if it’s not already.

[Big Ten]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to