Iowa State AD Says Big 12 Discussing Scheduling Alliance With Big East
Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard said the Big 12 has had "some discussions with the Big East about the possibility of doing a scheduling alliance to counterbalance the SEC Challenge so that we would have 20 games locked up," according to Alex Halsted of CBSSPORTS.com. Pollard said other basketball leagues are "considering going to 20 games, so if a couple leagues go to 20 games, it’ll be harder to get a non-conference home and home." Halsted noted the Big 12/SEC Challenge will enter its sixth year in '18-19, and in some sense is "viewed by the league as one yearly locked-in high-major opponent." The addition of some sort of Big East scheduling would "take the Big 12 to the aforementioned 20-game number that other conferences are aiming for." There is "no timetable for when such an alliance between the Big 12 and Big East could begin," though '19-20 appears to be the "earliest with most schedules already locked in" for the '18-19 season. Agreements with the SEC and Big East would get each Big 12 program to a "guaranteed 20 high-major opponents including conference games with holiday tournaments and other scheduling available to increase that number" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/14). Kansas Special Assistant to the AD Larry Keating said of the discussions with the Big East, "It’s certainly worth looking into." He added, "I’ve talked to a couple of people about the issue of 20 games and it becoming more and more difficult for some schools to get games. With the Big Ten and ACC going to 20 and others talking about it as well, it’s something worth looking at" (K.C. STAR, 5/15).