ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 26: Cameron Gordon #4 of the Michigan Wolverines tackles Jordan Hall #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during a third quarter kick off return at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 40-34. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences have announced a new scheduling agreement, according to Pete Thamel on Twitter. The new agreement is an extension of the conference's partnership on and off the field (or court), which includes cross-promotion in various ways as well as academic and cultural exchange programs. That being said, the biggest thing to note out of all of this is the fact that each of the conferences' football programs will have one game against the other as part of their non-conference schedule.
These games could be presented a number of ways, including some sort of preseason kickoff event, but there's plenty of time to figure things out, as the agreement uses the terminology "by 2017," so it could happen sooner rather than later. With the Rose Bowl being such a prominent event in college sports, the deal appears to be a good way to get the two conferences some more exposure.
And that's why this is all being done, to compete with all of the expansion by other conferences. USA Today had a quote from Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany regarding the extension:
"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."
Delany eluded to the fact that this new agreement is "in lieu" of expansion, and it seems satisfactory. On top of the changes to the non-conference schedule of the football program, the agreement is expected to extend to other sports, with prominent ones like men's and women's basketball perhaps having changes to the schedule much sooner than 2017.