Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Report: Big Ten, Pac-12 to increase interconference scheduling

Some big news announced today, as the Big Ten and Pac-12 will begin to increase interconference scheduling, along with cross-promoting networks and participating in academic and cultural "exchanges," according to USA Today.

The big news is that the football programs plan to play at least one interconference matchup with the other conference beginning in 2017. As a result, Jim Delany says the Big Ten likely will rethink its decision to play nine conference games. These games could take place in NFL stadiums, Mark Hollis told ESPN.

"I'm a believer that kids want to play in the big games,'' Hollis said to ESPN. "I think that's going to do nothing but enhance the situation for both leagues.''

The plan will affect all sports, although football and basketball are the main focus. While the conferences' only bowl link is the Rose Bowl, more could be added as part of this agreement. According to Pete Thamel of The New York Times, the conferences are in a open to creating a bowl game to air on the conferences' networks.

Of course, this is mostly about money. Both conferences have their own television networks, and this deal can result in more television deals. This also is a response to conferences that are purging others for members. 

But no matter what, this is extremely exciting for fans, who are sick of seeing non-BCS and FCS schools fill up the nonconference football schedules. MSU already has nonconference agreements with Alabama, Western Michigan and Notre Dame on the 2017 slate, so that's going to be quite the schedule. Don't be surprised if there are some changes to that.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 are scheduled to make an announcement at 4 p.m. with a teleconference to follow.

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