When Texas and Oklahoma announced the departure of the Big 12, the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 announced an alliance. The alliance means the three leagues can, among other things, form a voting bloc that will end the SEC’s growing influence. At halftime in last night’s Iowa game against Maryland, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren explained what the alliance brings to the table.
“What we hope to achieve is that three major conferences come together to bring some stability to varsity athletics and work together from a planning standpoint – not just varsity football and men’s basketball, but all of our Olympic sports, ”Warren said. “But even bigger than that, to raise awareness and collaborate on issues of social justice, mental health well-being and academically. We are fortunate enough to come together, especially over a summer like the one we had in varsity athletics. “
texas head coach Steve Sargsyan was asked about the Longhorns’ impending move to ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin, in which the first-year head coach expressed his opinion on what playing in the SEC could mean for Texan football.
“Well, you know, he’s probably a two-headed monster, isn’t he,” Sarkisian said. “In one aspect, it’s great, and I trust our leadership and our university and our president. [Jay] Hartzell and Chris Del Conte, our sporting director, for making this decision and having a vision for the future. I think it’s useful in terms of recruiting. And what that means from a recruiting standpoint, obviously we have a great product for selling recruits at the University of Texas; add the SEC to that, I think it’s helpful.
“But the flip side is that we’re still in the Big 12. And we have some unfinished business in the Big 12 to sort out. I say that often, but we already had a target on our chest here in the Big 12, and I think that target has gotten a bit bigger and we have to recognize that, making sure we do our best every Saturday.
Sarkisian then discussed the Alliance of Power Five conferences and their effects on the future landscape. The Longhorns head coach said he believes college football is going in the right direction.
“Well, I think, you know, the landscape of college football, obviously, is changing. And whether you talk about NIL, whether you talk about expansions and / or alliances and conference games, whether you talk about college football playoff expansion and what that looks like, so, I think we’re in a unique moment in college football. It’s clearly not what it was 30 years ago with just, you won your conference, you went to a game of bowls. All of a sudden we started having these mega-conferences and we started having conference championship games. And then all of a sudden we got into a BCS Championship game, and then all of a sudden we got to 14 playoffs and that changes forever.
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“I think the powers that be, that these changes are good. I think everyone is working cautiously towards what is in the best interests of the student-athletes, the universities, all parties involved. You know, I’m a college football fan first, just get the chance to do what I love, and I love college football. And I really believe that the changes that are happening are good for the game and make our game – which is the most important thing in my opinion – the most exciting sport to watch. And fans love it, and students love it, and its history and tradition; I think we are moving in a great direction.
Alex Seats contributed to this report.