It was a move that made a few waves in the never ending saga of conference reshuffling, the Pac 12 and Big 10 were going to make a scheduling alliance. Conceptually it was amazing, think about it, big name teams like USC or Oregon going up against teams like Ohio State or Michigan on an annual basis. It would have been a ratings bonanza. However it was not meant to be, for a very good reason… scheduling flexibility.
Apparently the members of the Pac 12 thought that being forced to play Big 10 schools would have made their individual schedules far too difficult. Too many college football fans such an excuse seems like a load of B.S, but with the evolving landscape of college football and the greater importance undefeated season has today, it only makes sense to have an easier out of conference schedule.
In all honesty the only school I could think of that would require an extremely tough schedule annually would be Notre Dame, because they are not a member of a conference, and it would be the only way to justify their position as the only independent to get special treatment. However the alliance between the Pac 12 and Big 10 is in reality not dead, just unofficial.
The Pac 12 and Big 10 are always going to be intertwined because of their shared tradition with the Rose Bowl. As such both conferences will always schedule games against each other, they just don’t want to be bound on paper. As of right now the Pac 12 and Big 10’s relationship has served as a role model for the new college football landscape, and as a means of repairing strained interconference relationships.
Just look at the Champions Bowl between the Big 12 and the SEC. If there are is one conference that should be bitter towards another conference it would hands down be the Big 12 towards the SEC. The SEC swooped in like a hungry vulture in the Mojave desert and began nibbling on the seemingly lifeless corpse of the Big 12 that was left in the desert to die. However, just like how the Israelites eventually left the desert after 40 years, the Big 12 left the desert and is if anything stronger than ever. However the Big 12 realized that, as a conference, they would be better served by trying to mend their relationship with the SEC and bury the hatchet. Hence the Champions Bowl was created.
The Champions Bowl would have never been created if not for the model relationship between the Big 10 and Pac 12. Maybe the scheduling alliance didn’t work out, so be it, they still have the Rose Bowl and that is a bond that will stand the test of time. The Big 10 is most likely bummed about the death of the scheduling alliance because of the potential death penalty that is going to be imposed on Penn State and how it is going to screw up scheduling, but that is another matter for another article.