For the moment, it seems, Nebraska and twelve teams are enough for the Big Ten.
The conference presidents and chancellors all got together for a pow-wow on Sunday afternoon to discuss the possibility of further expansion to the conference, and it seems that at the moment, everything is fine just the way it is.
Here is the press release that the conference released on Sunday.
This time last year, the COP/C believed that the time was right for the conference to explore the possibility of conference expansion and Commissioner James E. Delany was asked to provide recommendations for consideration over the next 12 to 18 months. The Big Ten began a thorough, deliberate evaluation and on June 11, 2010, the COP/C unanimously approved an application for membership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Since that announcement, the conference has been actively engaged in incorporating Nebraska, both academically and athletically, into the fabric of the conference and all parties eagerly await the completed integration which will take effect in July, 2011.
During today’s meeting it was decided that it was appropriate to focus completely on conference affairs at this time. “We have been thoroughly engaged in the process since last December,” said COP/C Chair and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie. “Following detailed discussions at today’s meeting, my colleagues and I can report that we believe that this process has reached its natural conclusion. We are pleased with the addition of Nebraska and look forward to working with our colleagues there in the years ahead.”
Although the conference will continue to monitor the intercollegiate landscape, it will not be actively engaged in conference expansion for the foreseeable future and does not expect to be proactively seeking new members.
All of which is just a fancy way of saying that right now there don't seem to be any schools that the conference wants right now. The key phrases come in that final paragraph of the release where it says things like "for the foreseeable future" and "does not expect." Which just means that Notre Dame still doesn't want to party with them.
Still, should that change at some point in that foreseeable future, then you can bet that the Big Ten will look over the idea one more time. And if Notre Dame comes to the Big Ten, then that means the conference will be looking for a 14th member as well.