The shock and awe portion of realignment appears to have hit a pause. We've transitioned from the searing range of emotions in the immediate aftermath of USC and UCLA hopscotching to the Big Ten to the cold calculations of the next steps that will shape the future of college sports.
Talk of poaching, mergers and arrangements -- notice an aversion to using the word "alliance" after the ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 pairing quickly became a punchline -- is followed by chatter about consultants, projections, revenue share and per school payouts. Want to know where your school is going next? Follow the money.
"Everyone is an accounting major right now," joked an industry source.
As the media consultants and CFOs crunch their numbers in preparation for the next flurry of moves -- or perhaps the data drives folks to stay put? -- let's take account of what's looming in the near future and the factors shaping the next wave of realignment.
Can a bicoastal ACC/Pac-12 arrangement really work?
There's been a thesaurus leafed through on conference calls to find the best non-alliance wording to describe a potential long-distance arranged marriage between the ACC and Pac-12. Partnership? Loose scheduling consortium? Bicoastal arrangement?
They likely won't have to pick one that works, as sources indicated on Thursday that there's little chance of this happening in the form it is being discussed.