Pac-12 commish eyes annual Big Ten series

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff would like the teams in his conference to play one fewer conference game. But that’s not as easy of a change as you may think.

Teams in the Pac-12 play nine conference games per season like the Big Ten and the Big 12. Teams in the ACC and the SEC play eight games. The extra non-conference game in the SEC and ACC is an opportunity for those teams to potentially schedule a lucrative neutral site game or a home game against a weaker opponent to get a win towards bowl eligibility.

Kliavkoff recognizes that and would love for his teams to have a chance to play another non-conference game. But the way that college football teams create their schedules years and even decades into advance makes that change hard to implement. If the Pac-12 announced that it was going to an eight-game conference schedule for its teams in 2023 or even 2024, those teams would have a difficult time finding opponents with most teams’ schedules locked in for the near future.

We’re not ready to announce anything, but I’ve been public about the fact we’re ready to go from nine conference games to eight immediately,” Kliavkoff told the Los Angeles Times. “The issue is everybody else is booked. We would not be able to fill those games in if we decided to do that. The fastest path to get there is if the Big Ten decided to do the same thing, and then we could just schedule 12 games against the Big Ten, and we’d be happy to do that for next season. The Big Ten is not ready to make that move yet, and it’s not my place to put them on a timeline to do that. They’re in the middle of their media rights negotiations. The minute the Big Ten is ready to play 12 games against us every year, we’re ready.”

Kliavkoff made his comments about the eight-game schedule to the Times as part of a wide-ranging interview…


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