The Alliance of German Science Organisations has been created to promote science and research. The alliance, which will be led by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute, is looking for a new home in Berlin – can it help bring together all scientific fields?
The “The Alliance explained” is a news article that explains why countries form alliances.
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The ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 commissioners conducted a joint video conference on Aug. 24 to introduce the Alliance, a new alliance involving three of college sports’ five most prominent leagues.
The introduction drew rapid attention — and “Office” jokes — and raised hopes for considerable action, but its vagueness raised many issues. The most important question is: What precisely is it?
The Alliance was formed only weeks after the SEC announced the shocking additions of Oklahoma and Texas, and in the midst of a tumultuous and momentous summer for college sports. It arose partly as a result of Realignment and the SEC’s power push. The major goal was to put a stop to poaching teams and avoid more chaos, but it also formed distinct tribal boundaries, separating Alliance members from the rising SEC and the weaker Big 12.
The Alliance was established six months ago, and although the three leagues are working behind the scenes, the same existential concern that many people had about the partnership persists.
Last month, the Alliance resurfaced on fans’ radar after College Football Playoff expansion talks fell apart following an 8-3 vote, with the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 subsequently revealed to be the sole dissenters against a proposed 12-team plan. The leagues were painted as being adamant in their opposition to a more inclusive system that many had been calling for, and although each claims to have voted independently due to its own concerns, their ties to the Alliance made them easy targets.
Six months in, the Alliance has achieved some of its declared objectives, including internal stability. Despite the fact that league Realignment has proceeded after the original announcement, the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 conferences have stayed intact. The three organizations want to play more games together in high-profile sports while pooling resources to address issues affecting student-athletes including physical and mental wellbeing, academics, social justice, diversity, equality, and inclusion.
The Alliance’s front-facing things, such as Schedules for football, haven’t gotten much momentum. Some outsiders suggest the Alliance is making progress and even surpassing original predictions, while many within argue the influence has been minimal at best.
Several Alliance football games have been arranged, and more are on the way, but there hasn’t been a big rise in scheduling.
Meanwhile, the aftermath from the CFP further adds to the Alliance’s perplexity and uncertainty. Last week, ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, and Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff talked with ESPN’s Andrea Adelson, Heather Dinich, and Adam Rittenberg to clarify what the Alliance is and where it’s headed. ESPN also went out to executives in collegiate sports who aren’t affiliated with the Alliance to get their take on it.
In mid-January, Jim Phillips claimed that the ACC was unanimous in its judgment that “growth is not the proper moment at this time.” Matt Cashore is a reporter for USA TODAY Sports.
Expansion of CFP
What has occurred?
The CFP declared on Feb. 18 that it would remain a four-team playoff for the next four years, after an 8-3 vote among the ten FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. During the current 12-year deal, which continues through the 2025 season, the CFP needs a unanimous 11-0 vote to expand.
Mississippi State president Mark Keenum, the head of the CFP’s board of managers, stated publicly that the Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 voted against the 12-team plan amid criticism of the pause in expansion discussions. While the Alliance is made up of the three leagues that voted against it, they insist they weren’t operating in lockstep.
Phillips stated last Friday, “This isn’t a voting bloc.”
“It seemed to be a blocked vote,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said recently when asked about his immediate response to the vote by ESPN, though he noted that he had “no inside information.”
“I accept that at face value if they say that’s not the case,” he remarked. “From what I read, they seemed to be on the same page on that one, but for different reasons.”
In mid-January, Phillips claimed that his conference was unanimous in its judgment that “now is not the time for growth.” He also brought up wider challenges in collegiate sports.
Meanwhile, the Big Ten has concerns about the implications of an expanded format on players’ mental health, the academic schedule, revenue sharing, and ensuring that numerous media partners get a chance to bid on rights. The Big Ten has also been adamant that the champions of the Power 5 conferences and one other conference should earn an automatic bid to an enlarged playoff, a concept that hasn’t gotten much traction at the table.
If the vote had been limited to the last two seasons of the existing deal, Kliavkoff said the Pac-12 would have voted in support of the 12-team plan. The proposal put forth did not divide the vote on playoff expansion into two parts: one for the present 12-year contract and another for Years 13 and beyond. Instead, there was a single vote on extending the CFP to include the six highest-ranked conference champions and the next six highest-ranked teams, as initially suggested. That was also a factor in the Big Ten’s decision.
When it came to committing on a framework that would last longer than the existing 12 years, Warren remarked, “We had to take a holistic picture, particularly if we intended on signing the long-term agreement.” “Now, if we’re getting to the point where there’s just one year left, that’s a different story, but when there are four years left on an agreement and we’re talking about completing it early, it has to make sense for everyone, not just the Big Ten. That, I believe, is simply common sense and good business.”
Any suggestion that the three commissioners collaborated to delay or halt growth is “a story that some people profit from putting out there even if it’s not accurate,” according to Kliavkoff.
“”I can only answer to what they told me,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, “and their worries and queries were not at all the same.” In fact, they were all one-of-a-kind to them, so I had no idea they constituted a voting bloc.”
Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, added: “I take my coworkers at their word. It’s simple to point at, but that doesn’t mean it’s a vast conspiracy.”
Phillips is the only commissioner from a Power 5 conference to have served on the NCAA’s constitution and transformation committees, both of which were entrusted with reorganizing the organization’s governance. He cited three reasons for the ACC’s apprehension: too many unanswered questions about the athletes’ health and safety; the “overall disruption in college athletics,” which included the new NCAA constitution and a desperate plea for federal legislation to manage NIL; and a 365-day “holistic review” of policy as it relates to the sport.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 both thought there were unresolved concerns, and the Pac-12 made specific demands linked to the Rose Bowl, which puts the Big Ten winner against the Pac-12 champion every year. In an extended playoff, a typical Rose Bowl would likely receive the Pac-12’s third-best team and maybe the Big Ten’s fourth-best team, on average, since the top teams would almost certainly be rated in the top 12. The Pac-12 and the Rose Bowl do not want a semifinal to air during the same customary New Year’s Day TV window as the bowl game. The Sugar and Orange Bowls, which have contracts with Power 5 conferences, would also be protected by the proposal.
On The Paul Finebaum Show on Jan. 21, Kliavkoff remarked, “What we’re asking for… is a little little ask.” “We’ve requested three hours of protection every three years from having to play against a CFP quarterfinal. It’s not a difficult request. It’s challenging to grow the College Football Playoff while maintaining the rich traditions of bowl games.”
The Pac-12 and Big Ten also expressed worry over Year 13’s unclear income allocation. The CFP couldn’t say how the income will be split beyond the present period without knowing the TV deal. There was also no word on whether the present income share will be maintained.
“There can’t be a response like, ‘Well, we’ll answer that when we agree that we’re going to grow now,’ or ‘We’ll answer that later,’” Warren added. “So, from where I sit, from where the Big Ten stands, I can say unequivocally that we are 100 percent in favor of growth. We believe that is the proper course of action. However, it must be done at the appropriate time, in the appropriate manner, and for the appropriate reasons.”
In an extended playoff, a typical Rose Bowl would likely receive the Pac-12’s third-best team and maybe the Big Ten’s fourth-best team, on average, since the top teams would almost certainly be rated in the top 12. Kirby Lee is a sports reporter for USA TODAY.
What comes next?
In principle, expansion approval in 2026 should be simpler since it does not need to be unanimous. There isn’t a contract to untangle. Instead, a majority of the 11 conferences, including a majority of the Power 5, would have to vote in support of the idea. Every stakeholder may select whether or not they wish to participate after a structure has been decided upon.
The ACC may not modify its attitude in certain situations, but it may not matter if the conference is outnumbered. If the rest of the country adopts a 12-team playoff, the ACC will have no choice but to follow suit if it wants to compete for the national championship. It’s likely that the Big Ten may back down on automatic qualifiers, but that dialogue will be influenced in part by the league’s television talks.
The Pac-12 is significantly more likely to accept a strategy that appeases the Rose Bowl, as long as the income distribution remains the same or better than it is currently.
All three commissioners have said openly that they support expanding at some time, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they may reach an agreement.
Last Friday, Warren said, “We are 100 percent supportive of growth.” “Do I believe we’ll ever get there? Yes, and I am passionate about it, but this is not something that should be hurried.”
The concern now is how the halted discussions will affect future negotiations, relationships, and leverage. When talks restart, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said “we’ll have to reassess our strategy.” Along with Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, Bowlsby, and Swarbrick, Sankey was a part of the four-person working group that drafted the first plan.
Even though the SEC is in the minority, it’s difficult to see the group succeeding if they can’t come up with a strategy that appeases them. Sankey has said several times that his league has no objections to the present four-team format. Even if the SEC is united, the SEC’s playoff position may ultimately be more potent than the Alliance’s.
“We’ll take a step back and figure out our own path, just as everyone else has,” Sankey added.
“We won’t put a strain on our squad by forcing them to play an ACC or Pac-12 opponent every year,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told ESPN. Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian photo
Schedules for football
What has occurred?
When the Alliance was founded, the major story was about future nonconference scheduling. Fans soon began fantasizing about big regular-season matchups.
Ohio State vs. USC! Clemson-Michigan! Oregon-Penn State!
But, as Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith told ESPN, it’s not that simple.
“The reality is, when you look at our model of playing nine conference games, it’s going to be difficult for us to have a formal scheduling alliance as it was first conceived,” he said. “We have a plan when it comes to Schedules for football that we’ve worked diligently on over the years and we won’t change that plan. We won’t put a burden on our team to have to play an ACC or a Pac-12 opponent on an annual basis.”
Given the nature of college football schedules, which are sometimes set eight to ten years in advance, quick satisfaction was never a realistic expectation, but Phillips assures that progress is being made.
“I believe we have had some success,” Phillips stated, “albeit maybe not to the degree that the general public desires.” “However, when it comes to the complexity of overall scheduling, we’ve made some decent progress.”
The Alliance has formed a working committee to collaborate with athletic directors from the three leagues on future scheduling, and according to Kliavkoff, the Pac-12 has 32 free dates in the next decade, with Alliance games taking precedence. Since July, eight prospective nonconference series totalling 17 games versus Alliance opponents have been either informally agreed upon or signed agreements for by ACC institutions.
The fact that the three Alliance leagues’ media rights deals are in separate areas is a difficulty. The Big Ten is already in the early stages of talks for a new agreement, which would start in 2023 and be worth more than $1 billion, according to reports. The Pac-12’s rights deal runs through 2024, and it will be a key area for Kliavkoff to expand the conference. Meanwhile, the ACC has a deal with ESPN that runs through 2036, putting the league behind others in terms of yearly earnings.
The differences in both timing and dollars with each rights agreement will impact the Alliance’s ability to work together on Schedules for football and other items. The Alliance likely will face fewer obstacles after the Big Ten and Pac-12 deals are finalized.
“These topics will have to be on the table as we go through these agreements… conference structure, divisions, number of games, eight vs nine, your football championship game,” Warren said. “From a football perspective, all of these factors are vital. From a media-rights basis, not only linear TV, but also over-the-top, the society we live in offers amazing prospects, but it’s also a challenging opportunity.”
Outsiders are apprehensive about an increase of Alliance matches.
One Power 5 athletic director said, “You don’t need an alliance for that.” “I guarantee you that some of them aren’t interested in scheduling each other in that manner; otherwise, they would have been doing it all along.”
Despite differences in media rights agreements, conference games (eight for the ACC, nine for the Pac-12 and Big Ten), and nonconference rivalries, the leagues insist they are dedicated to make it work (ACC-SEC games involving Florida State, Clemson, Louisville and Georgia Tech).
“Some of it is beyond a single conference’s control,” Kliavkoff added. “However, we want to continue to load Alliance games into our available dates.”
The Pac-12’s media rights deal runs through 2024, and it will be a key area for commissioner George Kliavkoff to expand the conference. Kirby Lee is a sports reporter for USA TODAY.
What comes next?
This seems to be the most pressing matter, and it all begins with the Big Ten, at least inside the Alliance, since its media rights agreement expires first. Though Smith and Warren claimed the Big Ten ADs desire to keep the league at nine games, they stressed no decisions have been made yet.
There would be fewer spaces for Alliance matches if there were more conference games.
“We’re debating what the right amount of games should be, as well as how our conference should be formed from a division or nondivision basis,” Warren said. “I’m looking forward to being able to make a judgment on [the] number of conference games in the coming months.”
In December, Kliavkoff said that his league would cut its conference schedule from nine to eight games if the Big Ten did the same. However, with the Big Ten still undetermined, the Pac-12 isn’t necessarily in a strong position. Decisions, according to Kliavkoff, cannot be made in a vacuum.
“You can’t do it at the last minute because there aren’t enough games of equivalent quality,” Kliavkoff said. “Unless we’re in a situation where we can match that choice with others and ensure that we have 12 games to play if we move from nine to eight, that’s more of a long-term decision for us.”
Still unanswered problems concerning conference scheduling and division structure, according to Kliavkoff, have an influence on who makes it to the league championship games. In his opinion, he was blunt: the Pac-12 must make choices “to maximize for CFP invites.”
That makes sense for a league like the Pac-12, which hasn’t had the same success as the Big Ten and ACC in getting teams into the CFP. However, the ACC must take note of this as it seeks to improve its entire football product beyond Clemson’s six playoff berths. At the same time, teams like Florida State and Clemson have SEC rivalry games to play, while Notre Dame is part of the ACC’s schedule. Annual rivalry games versus Notre Dame are something both USC and Stanford wish to maintain.
Even if more Alliance matchups are added, the top names in some of the leagues are unlikely to have as many vacant slots for nonconference games. If the SEC expands to nine schools after adding Texas and Oklahoma, its members’ perceptions of the value of yearly rivalry games with ACC clubs may shift.
The Big Ten is still “working through topics relating to what is the right amount of games, how our conference should be formed from a division or nondivision basis,” according to Kevin Warren. Robert Goddin is a sports reporter for USA TODAY.
What has occurred?
After Texas and Oklahoma departed the Big 12, Phillips, Kliavkoff, and Warren felt a “duty to calm a volatile climate” when the Alliance was formed last summer. At the time, talk lingered that the Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC would be forced to react, either pushing them to steal from one other or, in the worst-case scenario, losing teams to the SEC.
Stabilizing the climate worked to safeguard the Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC, as well as put an end to any suspicion that secret agreements and calls were being made that would change the picture even further. While the SEC’s decision reverberated across the Group of 5, the Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC banded together to effectively hold the line.
The transfer of rights related to each conference, which did not exist during the previous round of realignment a decade ago, is one of the key reasons. In essence, if a school quits, its media rights will remain with its previous conference, making it financially unviable to leave conferences, particularly those with lengthier broadcast contracts. The Big 12 media rights pact for Oklahoma and Texas ended in 2025, so there was nothing to lose by joining the far more dominant SEC.
The award of rights in the ACC is valid until 2036.
Miami athletic director Dan Radakovich said, “I’m not sure there’s a large amount of colleges out there seeking to relocate right now.” “Perhaps there will be ongoing mobility within the Group of 5, but I don’t see that happening with the Power 5 institutions.”
What comes next?
The Alliance’s establishment, which came as a result of the SEC’s withdrawal from Texas and Oklahoma, wasn’t lost on many in the sport.
“It looked to be a reaction against OU and Texas,” said Stricklin. “I’m not sure whether that was a protective gesture or an attempt to stabilize.”
If there is one constant in college sports, it is that change, including conference realignment, occurs on a regular basis. Each of the three conferences has added teams in the last decade, indicating that they recognize this. The Alliance arrangement, at least in the medium term, prevents them from hunting one other. The leagues, on the other hand, did not sign a deal.
In August, Phillips observed, “If that’s what it takes to get anything significant done, then we’ve lost our way.”
Will the “gentlemen’s agreement” that was proclaimed when the Alliance was founded stand up in the long run as another round of realignment begins?
The Big Ten operates from a position of strength among the three conferences, and it is poised to profit from its future TV rights contract. Though the ACC is financially behind the SEC and Big Ten, it has a grant of rights that runs until 2036, making it unlikely that any institution would leave due to financial concerns. Kliavkoff has said unequivocally that the Pac-12 must improve its football program. What does this indicate for the long-term strategy of the league?
After Texas and Oklahoma departed the Big 12, Phillips, Kliavkoff, and Warren felt a “duty to calm a volatile climate” when the Alliance was formed last summer. Icon Sportswire/John Rivera photo
Experience as an athlete and other objectives
What has occurred?
During the Alliance’s first six months, the majority of the effort has been focused on athletes and themes that they care about. Working groups have been developed to help them with their emotional and physical health, as well as their academic and leadership development. Social justice advocacy, voting and civic involvement, environmental sustainability, and gender equality and diversity are all areas where the leagues are collaborating.
The Alliance launched “Teammates for Mental Health” in November, a campaign that emphasizes the significance of athlete mental health and wellbeing. During the Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge, the campaign featured public service announcements on all three conference networks, as well as signs and promotions. In 2013, the Pac-12 established a student-athlete health and wellness program, and in 2020, UCLA hosted its inaugural athlete mental health summit. The ACC and Big Ten have subsequently organized their own mental health task forces, and the three conferences are pooling resources.
“Coming out of COVID, I honestly couldn’t think of anything more vital on which we can concentrate than our student-athletes’ mental health,” Kliavkoff said. “Combining our efforts to share best practices and raise mental health awareness among student athletes, as well as to generate outcomes for them in that area, is a significant accomplishment and the start of much more work to come.”
Some have questioned why such effort can’t be done more collaboratively outside of the Alliance’s walls. The founding of the Alliance, according to Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt, “speaks to the amount of distrust and lack of collective national leadership that collegiate sports has today.”
“You could talk about all the other opportunities they said they were going to collaborate on,” Hocutt said, “but those are things that, heck, we all better be in collaboration on and be prepared to work together on because if we don’t do it any better than we’ve done in the past, it’s going to continue to lead down a path none of us are going to be proud of.”
The Alliance recently commemorated the 50th anniversary of Title IX and will continue to promote women’s sports accomplishments during March, which is Women’s History Month. Athletes from all three leagues have attended meetings and seminars, including one with all three Alliance commissioners and Nneka Ogwumike, head of the WNBA players’ organization and a former Stanford player and the No. 1 overall WNBA draft selection.
“We want to make sure that we continue to establish a collegiate sports model and atmosphere that prioritizes the needs of our student-athletes,” Warren said.
What comes next?
While spectators’ attention is likely to be drawn to the schedule, the Alliance commissioners are sticking to their overarching strategy. Their major emphasis, according to Phillips, is on supporting players’ well-being and collaborating with other conferences and commissioners on the future of college sports. Warren went on to say that he wants to secure financial security for all sports so that they may “preserve our ancient traditions.”
And, of course, there’s the matter of scheduling. Football, men’s and women’s basketball, and Olympic sports have all formed scheduling working groups inside the Alliance.
Phillips said, “There’s the entertainment aspect of collegiate sports that we all know and appreciate.” “It’s about going ahead in those three areas, according to me and the ACC. Only speaking for the ACC, we’re ecstatic about what we’ve seen, the possibilities, and some of the work that’s been done in the last six months, but we’re even more optimistic about where this thing can go in the future and how the Alliance can fit into the larger picture of college sports’ future.”
“What’s been really wonderful about it is allowing the Alliance be what the athletes want it to be, giving us complete control of the programming rather than simply dumping stuff at us,” said Isaiah Holmes, a high jumper for the University of Miami track team. “We’ll be hosting a few networking events in the near future. There are also several chances for student-athletes to discuss what’s going on on their campus and share best practices, which has been one of the most beneficial and immediate developments since the Alliance’s inception.”
When the Alliance was first founded, Holmes, a member of Miami’s student-athlete advisory council, wasn’t sure what to make of it.
“I was expecting it to be like the rest of the Power 5 vs. the SEC,” he said. “However, I’ve discovered that it’s far more about student-athlete wellbeing and their ability to enhance their conferences via the power of one another.”
“The benefits of alliances between countries” is a topic that has been discussed for years. The Alliance explained the benefits and disadvantages of alliances between countries.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the concept of alliance?
A: The concept of alliance is that when two or more people cooperate, they will have a better chance to succeed than if they were alone.
Who are the participants in the alliance?
A:The participants in the alliance are currently five races-Sentinels, Valkyrur, Goliathus and Skirmishers.
What is called the alliance of countries?
A: The alliance of countries is a group of democratic states that work together to maintain peace and stability in the world.
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