Big Ten Expansion: Regardless of Rumors, It will Go as Originally Planned
As if we haven't heard enough about expansion lately with the NCAA Tournament expanding to 68 teams.
Now, everyone is speculating over what will happen as Big Ten expansion rumors fill the streets.
We have heard many colleges being labeled possible candidates: UConn, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Texas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Pittsburgh.
Before the Big Ten announced its plan to expand, the Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney made it clear that this expansion would be done on a 12-18 month process.
But less than a month ago, the rumor going around was that UConn would be joining the Big Ten in their efforts to expand to a 12-team conference, or possibly more.
It was all over the news instantly. Colin Cowherd and ESPN Radio somehow had "inside information" on the situation, telling everyone that UConn had confirmed they were going to join the Big Ten, and they were also going to go after Pitt and Rutgers.
It was proven wrong, just like many rumors are these days.
Delaney then released a statement, not long after the rumor was spreading like a wildfire, saying the expansion would go as planned and stay on the 12-18 month time line.
So, from hearing the commissioner releasing this, I thought it would be the end of rumors for at least a month or so.
This time, my judgment was proven wrong.
Not even a month after the first rumor was squashed, another rumor was out stating that Missouri, Nebraska, Rutgers, and Notre Dame had been given offers to join the Big Ten.
Can you guess what's coming next? Hint: Go back to my sixth paragraph.
Again, the rumors were instantly put out by several of the schools mentioned in the expansion.
Nebraska was one of the first schools to deny they had not in any way, shape, or form received an invitation to the Big Ten.
"We recognize the intense speculation about conference realignment and the possible impact it may have on Nebraska," said Delaney. "Both chancellor Harvey Perlman and athletic director Tom Osborne have indicated that the university would consider any opportunity that would advance the interests of the university."
"The University of Nebraska has not been offered any opportunity to move from the Big 12. We remain committed to the success of the Big 12 Conference. Until the Big Ten Conference makes and announces its decision on expansion, the University of Nebraska will have no further comment and we do not intend to continue to respond further to questions or speculations on this subject."
So, I ask this question: How long will it be until people realize that the expansion will not come for another year or more?
Let's not forget that Delaney is a professional adult and his responsibility is to get this expansion process done.
Therefore, when he has to tell us twice that it will take 12-18 months to complete it, we should probably get the hint that it will take 12-18 months.
Don't get me wrong, I am extremely excited to hear news about what team(s) will join the Big Ten when all is finished, but until then let Delaney and all of his companions do their jobs.
As for the rumors, because I know more will come out, the only thing you can do is wait for official word from the Big Ten or anyone else involved.
Once a representative from one of the conferences announces that it is official, we can finally talk about the positives and negatives.
Until then, let's focus back on the real subject we should be talking about: Football!
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