Commissioner Jim Delany met with the assembled media masses in Chicago Tuesday as part of the Big Ten spring meetings, and, while he did not drop any real hard news as to the progress of the expansion process, he did toss out a few nuggets that will only serve to add another layer of intrigue to the process.
– “[The Big Ten] may not expand, but we may expand. … we won’t expand for the sake of expansion.”
– “We’re not looking to achieve a championship game.” Delany stressed that if a championship game was an overriding factor, “we could’ve done that at [any] time over the last twenty years.”
– The timeline for expansion “continues to be roughly 12-18 months.” Delany also allowed that the process could take 11 months. Or 19 months.
– Hinted again that any school that’s added to the conference will likely have to be a member of the Association of American Universities, a consortium of 63 public and private research universities in the United States and Canada. All eleven of the current members of the Big Ten are a part of the AAU.
– While it’s not contained in this particular video, Delany said that, along with the overwhelming success of the Big Ten Network, the main force driving expansion is the population shift from the Big Ten’s current Midwest footprint to the South over the past 20 or so years. Basically, the conference does not want to get caught with its pants down if the trend continues.
With that in mind, does that mean the rumors of Georgia Tech possibly being a potential candidate for Big Ten membership now seem a little more realistic than they did last week? Based on Delany dropping some Sun Belt hints, that speculation sure the hell seems a lot more plausible right now.
Anyway, here’s a little clip of some of Delany’s remarks from this afternoon.