|Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is thinking about forming an alliance (US Presswire)|
The Big 12 is looking into a possible alliance with the ACC and two other unidentified leagues that could affect scheduling, marketing and maybe even television contracts among the member schools, according to Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman.
One of the byproducts of such a move is that it could put a halt to further expansion by the leagues.
"We've had conversations with three other leagues," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the American-Statesman on Friday afternoon. "The ACC is one of them. It's a process of discovery that would provide some of the benefits of larger membership without actually adding members."
Bowlsby declined to name the other two leagues, but the Pac-12 Conference is presumed to be one of them because that 12-team league is landlocked with the Big 12 to its east, which makes Pac-12 expansion with like major-college institutions more geographically prohibitive.
Bowlsby stressed that nothing is imminent -- "It's purely exploratory," he said -- but that further discussions would take place at conference athletic director meetings beginning next Monday.
With just one more year of the BCS to go and a four-team playoff of some sorts coming down the pike, this is just another example of how the major conferences are jockeying to get into position to make as much money as possible without actually expanding.
Could we see the rest of the conferences following suit with their own alliances? Will the SEC and the Big Ten align with another league to square off against the Pac-12, ACC and Big-12 for future supremacy?