Big Ten staying quiet on expansion front

September, 18, 2011
9/18/11
10:30
AM ET
Two potential Big Ten expansion targets from 2010 -- Syracuse and Pitt -- are headed to the ACC. Other potential candidates likely will be on the move soon, or staying put in their conferences.

Everyone wants to know what Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany's next move will be.

Will Delany be content to sit out the next round of realignment? It's hard to imagine, given Delany's history.

But at least publicly, Delany continues to say the same thing.

The Big Ten is happy at 12, and what happens elsewhere doesn't really affect the league.

Here's what he told The New York Times on Saturday night:
"I don't think that moves in the SEC or the A.C.C. or Pac-10 or Big 12, haven't, to date, created an environment that changes our position," Delany said. "We're as comfortable as we could be. We're cautious and conservative."

The key phrase there is "to date," as more significant movement could be on the horizon.

As I've written many times in recent weeks, the Big Ten doesn't want to get bigger. The presidents like the current setup and are leery of expanding just for the sake of expanding, especially if it means compromising values like strong academics and equal revenue sharing.

Delany also reiterated a point to the Times that's worth noting again.
"We want to play each other more, not less," he said. "We're working hard through a successful transition of Nebraska. The fact that others have different ideas about size and the number of schools that you have doesn't affect us. We are where we want to be and have been."

While I wish other conferences felt the same way, it appears as though the era of the superconference is upon us.

The Big Ten might not want to get bigger and could repeat its public position about being happy at 12.

But Delany has never been one to be left behind. And if big additions are on the table, namely Notre Dame, expect him to pounce.

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