Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and Nebraska officials made the media rounds today in the aftermath of the league poaching the school from the Big 12.
During the media sessions, Delany said the league will continue to look for expansion candidates over the next year but that, “we’re back to the slow tempo game.”
Michigan State President Anna K. Simon said of the continuing Big Ten expansion process, “We have two-thirds of the study period left to go and we’re real anxious to work with Jim and others around the next step.”
Delany would not comment on specific schools as targets, which I’m sure has the Big East absolutely delighted. Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said today that, “it was his understanding” that the Big Ten was not interested in the remaining Big 12 schools.
Also notable today was Delany confirming that a Big Ten football championship game is now likely to happen in 2011 and that Nebraska sports will begin play in the league in the fall of 2011.
Delany would not speculate on how divisions for the Big Ten would play out though he gave the criteria for dividing up the league in order: Competitive fairness, rivalries, geography. (How you determine “fairness” I have no idea.)
More comments from Delany:
On scheduling: “This is not going to the moon, this is creating some football and basketball schedules. We’re going into this with the idea that rivalries really matter. But not all rivalries are equal. Our coaches have wanted to play deeper in December. That’s arrangeable.”
What Big Ten was looking for in possible expansion candidate schools: “We wanted to get to a point in time where everybody was equal. We didn’t want anybody that didn’t want equality.” (See veiled shot at Notre Dame, Texas.)
On a Big Ten football championship game: “I presume that we will.“
On Big Ten conference name change: “Something we have to figure out over the next few months. The Big Ten name carries a lot of meaning to a lot of people.”
On future expansion: “We’re still going to be open and aware of what’s going on around us. I don’t think the change that is in play is going to abate soon. We can pause for a moment.
“We’ve really done some hard work and some good work on an expedited time frame. For the next 12-18 months we’ll continue to look, be aware of the changes taking place around us. If something make sense, we’ll make that change.“