The Alliance has less gravity than an Elon Musk “space trip”.
Sure, these three Power Conference with 40-sih members have a handshake agreement to play a few games and maybe tell the Big 12 it matters... but frankly, the big announcement this week fell flatter than the cardboard pizza they served in my middle school cafeteria.
The only thing fraught with less meaning?
Thursday’s announcement from the PAC 12 that the conference was not interesting in expanding... “at this time”.
Pac-12 statement on expansion: pic.twitter.com/FRmwq4ddcb— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) August 26, 2021
The conference made a big deal about this forthcoming announcement only to tell us absolutely nothing. Much like the alliance, Thursday’s tweet tells us next to nothing about the future of the PAC 12, the Big Ten, the ACC, or college football.
At this time does not mean never, it mostly just means not right now.
And that makes sense! Why does the PAC 12 need to announce its intention to expand when the Big 12 is still kind of a thing and looks like it could remain so for several more seasons. It’s not like the PAC is looking to fill its coffers on the backs of non-P5 teams, and the best candidates — arguably those currently in the Big 12 — aren’t technically available. And Bob Bowlsby and co don’t want to jeopardize the big potential payout by allowing the conference as it is currently constructed to be bastardized mid-flight, something that a pro expansion message would certainly start.
I can’t tell you the future of the Big 12, the future of the PAC 12, or the future of college football for that matter. The only people that know anything are probably employed by ESPN. I would imagine, though, that the next domino to fall will likely be the Big 12 exploring expansion opportunities and having conversations with schools like BYU, Boise State, Cincinnati, SMU, UCF, USF, Memphis, Houston... you get the picture. They will do a feasibility study and a financial graph to see if adding some combination of 4-6 of those schools in 2025 can keep the revenue stream flowing and keep the Big 12 amongst those with autonomy status — something which the commissioners of the remaining leagues at least gave lip service to valuing with their alliance announcement earlier this week.
Meanwhile, I expect that expansion conversations are anything but over... at this time simply means, at this time.
Let’s be honest, TCU is no better off today than it was yesterday, but it’s no worse off either. This is just another pin in the convoluted map that makes up the future of the eight teams left to fend for themselves, something it seems each school is more than prepared to do.