Big Ten expansion timetable unchanged

Well, that was exciting while it lasted.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany put at end to the uproar about expansion and college sports Armageddon -- at least for now -- by telling reporters Wednesday that the league's timetable for its expansion study remains unchanged. In case you forgot, the Big Ten said in December that the process would take 12-18 months, and we're only in Month No. 4.

With all these rumors, it feels like four years!

Delany had been in a "silent phase" regarding expansion for several months, but he spoke to the media today after a recent Chicago Tribune report about an accelerated expansion process set off shock waves around the country.

"There are no announcements here," he said. "There are no notifications here."

The commish told USA Today earlier Wednesday that he made a routine trip Sunday to the Association of American Universities meetings in Washington and met with Big Ten presidents there. While expansion came up in their discussions, so did many other topics.

"We'll work with our athletic directors and our presidents. If there's a need to have formal discussions about expansion with another institution, we'll reach out," Delany said. "But we're still in the process of analyzing and gathering information, and we're not anywhere near what I would describe as formal expansion discussions with any member. We haven't changed anything, neither the timetable nor the process that was described."

Delany also mentioned something I've been trying to get across to anyone who will listen: the Big Ten might not expand. While most folks around the league think it will happen and multiple teams will be added, the Big Ten isn't desperate or unhealthy. Just the opposite.

"The [conference] presidents have been clear: This might not happen," Delany said.

Delany's comments should quiet things down, but most likely not for long. Aside from a college football playoff, this topic generates more interest and speculation than any other in college sports, and there isn't much patience for a process that could go on for a bit.