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Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12 conferences formally announce 'alliance' with no binding contract

The move comes less than a month after the Southeastern Conference invited Texas and Oklahoma to join the league and create a 16-school league.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten Conference and Pac-12 Conference announced an alliance on Tuesday. They say the alliance between the three "Power 5 conferences" will affect college sports governance between the conferences, inter-conference scheduling and College Football Playoff expansion.

While there is a so-called formal alliance between the conferences, there is not a contract or signed document declaring one, Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff said in a press conference on Tuesday along with Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren and ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips. 

"There's an agreement between three gentlemen and there is a commitment between 41 presidents and chancellors and 41 athletic directors to do what we say we're going to do...we're aligned in how we want to approach this but there's no contract, there's no signed document and there doesn't need to be," Kliavkoff said.

The move comes less than a month after the Southeastern Conference invited Texas and Oklahoma (part of the Big 12 conference) to join the league and create a 16-school league by 2025.

The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 and their alliance will likely look to avoid future major realignment and control the balance shift that Texas and Oklahoma's move to the SEC will create.

Phillips said that when one conference expands it usually leads to more conferences expanding and noted this alliance aims to create stability.

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The commissioners spoke about a scheduling alliance that aims to increase the national profile of their teams by diversifying schedules across the country, but didn't expand on any sort of target date, emphasizing already existing inter-conference scheduling between the three conferences.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren alluded to the changing of the college athletics landscape in regards to realignment and the NCAA control over athletics. 

"There's turbulence right now in college athletics," Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said. "There's things we need to address, we need to have strong leadership, we need to work together."

The alliance also forms as the NCAA begins the process of handing off more responsibility to conferences and schools to run college sports, and with a proposal to expand the College Football Playoff in the pipeline.

The commissioners in their press conference were asked if they agree with the proposed College Football Playoff plan to expand the Playoff to 12 teams. Phillips said the ACC hasn't made a decision of support yet as they continue to mull it over ahead of the Sept. 28 target date. 

Warren said he's a big believer in expanding the College Football Playoff, but also said the conference continues to do its "homework." Kliavkoff also said the Pac-12 is 100% in favor of expanding the Playoff, but like the other commissioners said there are more issues to discuss.

In terms of a firm target date for what changes this alliance will produce, the commissioners weren't clear, stating there are many existing inter-conference schedule relationships between the conferences already that they plan to emphasize. 

Warren did notably say that the conferences aren't planning to interfere with any existing scheduling contracts. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report 

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