Forget the idea of a guaranteed Michigan-Southern California or Ohio State-Oregon matchup in football.
For that matter, forget any guaranteed matchup in any sport between the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences.
The two conferences announced Friday they have suspended plans to expand a collaboration effort across all of its sports.
Originally announced in December, the agreement was called off because the Pac-12 wanted to explore its options as far as nonconference football scheduling and to continue with its current maximum slate of conference games.
"While we continue to value our close relationship, particularly our partnership in the Rose Bowl, the Pac-12 came to the conclusion that it's in our best interests to maintain our nine-game conference schedule and maximum flexibility in out-of-conference football scheduling," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. "Thus, the Pac-12 decided not to lock into the proposed mandatory 12-game schedule in football."
The original agreement had each of the schools in the Pac-12 facing one of the twelve schools in the Big Ten, with games scheduled over the first three weeks of the season, a time frame traditionally reserved for nonconference games.
If the agreement had held in place, the two conferences would have begun the inter-conference scheduling in 2017.
In December, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said it would be a practical partnership because of the historic connection shared by the conferences, as well as no geographic overlap of the two conferences. The agreement would also extend into other sports in both leagues, and it was anticipated that basketball matchups would begin in the 2013-2014 season.
The sticking point was that while the Pac-12 plays nine conference games, the Big Ten plays only eight conference games, though ESPN.com reported Friday that the Big Ten is looking to increase its number of conference football games from eight to nine, a proposal originally announced in August.
The Big Ten expressed its disappointment in the agreement not coming to fruition.
"We recently learned from Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott that the complications associated with coordinating a nonconference football schedule for 24 teams across two conferences would be too difficult," Delany said in a statement. "Those complications, among other things, included the Pac-12's nine-game conference schedule and previous nonconference commitments."
Delany, however, did not dismiss future collaboration with the Pac-12.
Ohio State has scheduled two Pac-12 opponents in nonconference football games over the next two seasons: Sept. 15 at home against California, and Sept. 14, 2013, at Cal.
Michigan has scheduled four Pac-12 opponents in future nonconference football games: Sept. 20, 2014, at home against Utah; Sept. 3, 2015, at Utah; Sept. 19, 2015, at home against Oregon State; and Sept. 17, 2016, at home against Colorado.
Contact Rachel Lenzi at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.
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