Big Ten, Pac-12 Announce Inter-Conference Partnership

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 03: Marcus Cromartie #14 of the Wisconsin Badgerscelebrates with a rose after they won 42-39 against the Michigan State Spartans during the Big 10 Conference Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The two Rose Bowl conferences, the Big Ten and the Pac-12, announced Wednesday that they'll put together a partnership including inter-conference scheduling and television network tie-ins. USA Today has the details -- as Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany notes, this is essentially conference realignment without any realignment:

"It's sort of in lieu of what some other people are doing (with expansion)," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said.

"Our idea is you can't stand still. You have to build in an environment where people are competing for attention, where they're competing to have the best competitive assets and to present themselves in the best way. I think both of us believe ... this is the most constructive way for us to do that."

The goal is for every team in each conference to play at least one counterpart per season, beginning by 2017 in football and earlier in other sports. Neutral-site games could be included, making for potential special season-openers in various sports.

Even for a conference as progressive as of late as the Pac-12, this is a bold move. The Big Ten has shown itself to be capable of winning with ventures like this as well, having started the successful Big Ten Network and taking the best spoils from the latest realignment round.

This is a pretty big deal, meaning a lot more than just a TV arrangement. Compare this to what other conferences are doing to their identities by tearing themselves apart to add teams from far-flung locations.

For more on things of this nature, visit Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire and Pac-12 blog Pacific Takes.

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