The Big Ten and the Pac-12 announced on Wednesday a long-term scheduling agreement in football and all other sports.
The objective of the two conferences is to play 12 inter-conference games by the 2017 season and sooner if possible. Each Big Ten school will play a team from the Pac-12 each season.
The Big Ten also announced that they will stay at eight non-conference games rather than nine. Earlier this year, the B1G stated their desire to move to a nine-game conference schedule.
From the New York Times:
The football possibilities of the agreement are tantalizing in an era in which early-season nonconference schedules often feature traditional powers playing inferior opponents. The Pac-12-Big Ten games will be created to match up programs of similar strength, meaning that marquee games like Ohio State versus Southern California, Wisconsin versus Stanford and Michigan versus Oregon could soon be seen early in the season.
Delany said the games would most likely be played in the second, third and fourth weeks of the season. Scott said they could be incorporated into events like season kickoff games.
The two conferences have also discussed creating another bowl game for the two schools to play each other in. Currently, the only Big Ten vs. Pac-12 bowl game is the Rose Bowl, which pits the champions of each conference against each other.
“As other conferences continue to grow through expansion, we believe there is great merit in deepening the historic relationship between the Big Ten and Pac-12,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “We believe that both conferences can preserve that sense of collegiality and still grow nationally by leveraging our commonalities in a way that benefits student-athletes, fans and alumni. This collaboration can and will touch many institutional undertakings, and will complement our academic and athletic missions.”
“Through numerous conversations over the past several months with stakeholders from the Big Ten and Pac-12, we decided there would be great value in building upon the history and collegiality that exists between our member institutions, by initially committing to an increased frequency of play between our schools in all sports,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.