Last week it was announced that the scheduling agreement between the Big Ten and Pac-12 that had been agreed to last December was off. With a nine-game conference schedule in the Pac-12, not ever school was willing to add a tough non-conference game against a Big Ten opponent to its schedule.
In an ironic twist, since Big Ten schools will be losing a premier non-conference game, many are now wondering whether the Big Ten will just decide to re-open it's own debate about a nine-game conference schedule. Listening to Jim Delany, it definitely sounds as though the idea is up for discussion again.
"We'll have to go back to ground zero and we don't have a lot of time to do it," Delany told the Chicago Tribune.
"Whatever we do this isn't a 7-5 or 8-4 vote. We need to have strong feelings to stay (at eight) or to go (to nine)."
Delany also said that a ten-game conference schedule would produce the "truest champion" but that the idea is a pipe dream since schools want to have seven home games a season. As for the nine-game slate, Delany also told the Tribune that the idea earned approval last year before the Pac-12 agreement was originally announced, but that it was a "majority with reluctance."
Given what Delany said about wanting a stronger majority, odds are that the "majority with reluctance" wouldn't be enough to get the Big Ten to go to nine games. Though you do have to wonder if now that the Pac-12 deal is off, those schools who were against the idea earlier might be a bit more receptive to it now.