What seemed like a fun idea -- at least for the fans -- is now dead as Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany announced the proposed scheduling alliance between his conference and the Pac-12 has dissolved. The plan was to create a yearly scheduling alliance between the two conferences, much like we see in basketball. The logistics were always a bit dicey, but on paper it was something to get excited about.
Of course it didn't work. The way the system is setup -- BCS or playoffs, because they're both really the same -- lends itself to schools taking easier routes during the non-conference slate. Couple that with the insistence of playing nine conference games a year -- gotta get those SoCal schools in -- and you have a scheduling nightmare. It should also be noted the Big Ten is trending towards playing nine conference games a year, further complicating matters.
What you have is schools worried about difficult schedules. As ESPN notes, USC and Stanford also play Notre Dame each year, locking in one non-conference game. Add in a second, presumably difficult, matchup with a Big Ten squad and you can see why they might not be so gung ho about it all.
At least four Pac-12 schools ultimately decided they would not accept mandatory scheduling, ESPN.com has learned. One proposal called for eight matchups per year, featuring the willing Pac-12 schools, but the Big Ten wanted a complete collaboration or none at all.
I get it. I really do. I'm not a fan of nine conference games, nor am I a fan of using the system by scheduling cupcakes in an effort to run the table. It's just how it goes.
Unfortunately for WSU, the death of the deal means multiple exciting matchups are off the table for now. The preliminary schedule had some superb Big Ten teams coming Pullman, something we haven't seen in ... well, forever. That won't happen, though Bill Moos could work out some home-and-homes down the line.