The two conferences announced Friday that their agreement, which they announced in December that the deal was to begin in 2017, has fallen through because of scheduling issues involving a number of Pac-12 schools.
The partnership was to feature a round-robin football schedule, with 12 games per year between Big Ten and Pac-12 teams. The deal also included match ups involving other sports and the two leagues television networks (Big Ten Network & Pac-12 Network).
Big Ten commissioner, Jim Delany, announced they recently learned that the several complications associated with putting together a non-conference football schedule for 24 teams between the two conferences would ultimately be too difficult. Some of the complications included the Pac-12’s nine-game conference schedule compared to the Big Ten’s eight. The Pac-12 also mentioned conflicts with their previous non-conference commitments.
The main problem here is the Pac-12’s nine-game conference games per season, while the Big Ten plays only eight. USC and Stanford already play annual games against Notre Dame and adding a game against the Big Ten would make their schedules even more full.
According to ESPN.com, the Big Ten will look to increase their conference games per year from eight to nine. The Big Ten announced it would move to nine league games in August but backed off from that idea after the Pac-12 agreement had been created.
There have been several matchups already scheduled in advance of the 2017 agreement, with Michigan State vs. Oregon, Michigan vs. Utah and Northwestern vs. Stanford playing each other.
It’s a shame the two conferences couldn’t come to terms on a final deal. At least they still have the Rose Bowl?
Will Wilson is a writer for Rant Sports covering College Football and the Big Ten Conference.