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Notes From Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany's Press Conference

Opening statement:
  • "Really excited about the bowl partnerships we have."
  • Five games on New Year's Day will be a competitive lineup for fans.
  • "Regular season college football is maybe as healthy as it has ever been."
  • Nebraska brings an iconic brand to the Big Ten.
  • Expansion went faster than originally anticipated because Nebraska had some decisions to make.
  • Further expansion is on "pause," but the Big Ten will not turn its back on future changes if they happen.
  • "We're not actively involved in any expansion initiatives at this point."
Answers to questions:
  • Time frame on conference expansion was changed when the Big 12 wanted a commitment from its members.
  • Expansion studies will continue this fall and Delany will meet with Big Ten presidents to talk about it in December.
  • "The divisions need to be as balanced as possibly as they can be made."
  • Competitive fairness has got to be seen in those divisions.
  • Divisions have got to be constructed in a wise way to preserve traditional rivals.
  • "We're going to need to do everything we can to preserve rivalries."
  • "We have to do everything we can to play each other more, not less."
  • Adding a ninth conference game probably isn't in the immediate future, but eventually the Big Ten will get there.
  • Right now discussion about divisions is focused on the principles rather than specific plans.
  • Maintaining rivalries, competitive fairness and geography are the three main principles being considered when creating divisions.
  • Many data points will be considered when looking at competitive fairness, and the starting point will be 1993 since that's the beginning of the "modern Big Ten."
  • "There a lot to do over the next 120 days (with transitioning to 2011)."
  • Not a lot of thought has been given to picking a championship venue yet.
  • With so much that needs to be done, the Big Ten may pick a site for just the 2011 championship game and then continue to evaluate it before deciding on venues for future games.
  • "Rather than try to do something in a short time frame without adequate time to study, I think it might make some sense to defer that."
  • "I'm not sure divisions make sense in basketball."
  • "I don't think what we decide in football has to be binding for other sports (division-wise)."
  • "I think the Big Ten is the Big Ten regardless of the number." (In response to a question about changing the conference's name)
  • "I don't see Notre Dame as a player (in future conference expansion)."
  • A nine-game conference schedule is likely to happen in no more than four years.
  • "I expect there to be a championship game in December of 2011."