An act of desperation.
That’s what a potential alliance among the Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC is, according to Paul Finebaum.
Last week, ESPN – citing sources – reported three conferences have had discussions about “forming an alliance” for scheduling purposes.
On Monday, Finebaum told Greg McElroy and Cole Cubelic on WJOX-FM 94.5 in Birmingham the move – if it becomes a reality – will do little to change the dynamic of the college football landscape.
“I think it’s a desperate move that signifies absolutely zero,” Finebaum said. “What difference does it make if the ACC, the Big Ten, the Pac-12 and anyone else schedule games? That already happens. It doesn’t affect the most important aspect of the Texas-Oklahoma move. The SEC has simply left everyone else in the dust and has the first true super-conference and the biggest brands and the best value in college football. You can get all the games you want between Southern Cal and North Carolina and Clemson and Michigan, and so what? We already have these types of games. We’re two-and-a-half weeks away from Clemson-Georgia, Ohio State-Oregon, Michigan-Washington — these games are on the schedule.
“And, once the 12-team playoff shows up, whenever that is, it’s going to make all this stuff even more obsolete. If you’re sitting there in all these other leagues, you’ve looked at the map, and you’ve tried to do the math. There’s simply no move. The Big 12 doesn’t have a move. The ACC, short of Notre Dame changing its mind, doesn’t have a move. And the Big Ten certainly doesn’t have a move. So, you meet with your colleagues, you come up with contingency plans. You try to do anything you can to blame one person for every single thing that has happened. You try to blow up a 12-team playoff because of one person, and that one person is Greg Sankey.
“Quite frankly, Greg Sankey took a phone call. That’s all he did. He didn’t conspire. He didn’t try to manipulate the system. He played within the rules of the college football playoff. He met with the other three gentlemen on the committee, and he gets all the blame for everything. Everyone also wants to blame ESPN and say let’s open it up to FOX in 4 or 5 years, and they accomplished nothing.”
He went on to say the Pac-12 needs the 12-team playoff more than anyone.
Athletic directors in two of the leagues discussing an alliance told ESPN that nonconference scheduling likely would be the focus, but that there aren’t many details yet.
Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.