Tag:Jim Delany
Posted on: December 13, 2010 12:52 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2010 6:24 pm

Big Ten updates logo, annouces division names

Posted by Adam Jacobi

With the Big Ten adding Nebraska to the fold earlier this year, the old Big Ten logo with the subtle "11" embedded was suddenly rendered obsolete. The Big Ten's response? A Big Ten logo with a subtle "10" embedded. Here's the new logo unveiled by commissioner Jim Delany on the Big Ten Network today:

As for the division names, yes, they're "Legends" and "Leaders." The announcement was made after a five-minute presentation about alumni of each and every school doing good things, and as the image above indicates, the split is like this:


  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Northwestern


  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Ohio State
  • Penn State
  • Purdue
  • Wisconsin

There'll be a time and place for editorializing about the new branding, but for now, here's what it all is. Reactions go in the comment section below.

Posted on: December 5, 2010 5:43 pm

Big Ten has no plans to expand further right now

Posted by Tom Fornelli

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.
Posted on: November 18, 2010 4:12 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2010 4:13 pm

Big Ten considering rotating title game site

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It was announced late on Wednesday that the Big Ten had struck a deal with Fox Sports to broadcast the conference's title game starting in 2011 when the conference adds Nebraska and moves up to 12 teams.  The television deal is for six years and will be worth between $20 to $25 million a season. Of course, while we know who will be providing the hundreds of band shots with football displayed in between, we don't know where those bands will be sitting.

The inaugural game will take place at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, but the Big Ten is yet to decide on a permanent site for the game.  According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, they may never find one.  Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told the paper that the conference would strongly consider rotating the site of the game, though one source told the paper that Chicago's Soldier Field is a good bet to host a game.

Still, Delany doesn't want to settle on one place just yet.

"I think there's lot of interest in different cities around the Big Ten," Delany said. "Chicago is fabulous, Indy's fabulous, Detroit, Minneapolis (and) Cleveland all have world-class facilities. We would not be smart not to look."

The Big Ten's logic is that while the SEC hosts its game in Atlanta every season, it's because Atlanta is the "crossroads" of the league, where as the Big Ten stretches throughout the midwest, so to limit it to one area might be foolish.  Though, i should point out that while the Big Ten will cover the midwest from Lincoln, Nebraska to State College, Pennsylvania, Chicago is basically in the middle.  Which might make it an ideal site.

Still, it's uncertain that the conference will want to play it's marquee game in a cold weather city every December, and odds are if they did go with a permanent site, they'd select an indoor stadium like Lucas Oil Field.

Posted on: November 3, 2010 8:03 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2010 11:12 pm

Big Ten Rose Bowl update, Week 10

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Week 9 has come and gone, and with Iowa's utter pantsing of Michigan State, the Rose Bowl picture is even murkier now than it was seven days ago. As mentioned before, with MSU's loss, there are now zero teams in the Big Ten that control their own destiny; every one of the four one-loss teams needs at least one of the others to lose (or, in one instance, win out) in order to reach the Rose Bowl. Let's go down the list.

Wisconsin can go to the Rose Bowl if...

  • Wisconsin wins out AND Ohio State wins out;
  • Wisconsin wins out AND Michigan State loses once.

If the season ended today, Jim Delany would probably be fired. I stole that joke from somewhere. But more to the point, Wisconsin would be the Big Ten's representative in the Rose Bowl. The Badgers are buoyed by wins over Iowa and Ohio State, but the Hawkeyes' loss to Arizona in the non-conference schedule may doom Wisconsin's Rose Bowl hopes. Huh? Here's the relevant portion of the Big Ten tiebreaker:

If three teams are still tied, and one of the three teams is eliminated through the percentage basis of all games played, the remaining two teams shall revert to the two-team tie procedure.

That two-team procedure goes head-to-head, overall record, BCS rating. So even though Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan State split their three-team series and Wisconsin's got the highest BCS rating of the three, Iowa's 10-2 record eliminates it from consideration. That means only Wisconsin and MSU would be up for the Rose Bowl bid, and MSU won that meeting. Hence, Michigan State would go to Pasadena. Of course, that assumes Michigan State wins out; one more Spartan loss, and nobody can stop Wisconsin if the Badgers win out.

Ohio State can go to the Rose Bowl if...

  • OSU wins out AND Wisconsin loses once;
  • OSU wins out AND MSU wins out AND OSU's BCS rating climbs higher than Wisconsin's.

It's tough to overestimate just how much of a power position Ohio State is in relative to Michigan State. Since the two teams don't play and their non-conference records are equal, by rule, the team with the higher BCS ranking will get the nod. Observe:

If there is a tie for the championship, the winner of the game between these two teams shall represent the conference.
If there is still a tie, or if the tied teams did not play each other, the representative shall be determined on the percentage basis of all games played.
If there is still a tie, the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings shall be the representative.

MSU can't beat the Buckeyes in any of those three categories, but the Buckeyes can't beat Wisconsin in any of them either unless a win over Iowa vaults OSU over Wisconsin in the BCS standings. That might happen -- the Buckeyes are only two spots back -- but the gap in poll position between the two teams is pretty substantial, largely because OSU's schedule is actually pretty weak so far. Again, that'll change, but there's no telling by how much yet. Thus, everyone in Columbus would feel a lot easier if Wisconsin would just go ahead and drop another game.

Of course, if OSU wins out and passes a 7-1 Wisconsin in the BCS, that itself isn't enough; the key here is to get MSU involved in the tiebreaker, since its presence would cancel out Wisconsin's win over OSU as a disqualifying factor for the Rose Bowl berth (see the bolded part of the second rule above). Needless to say, there are plenty of Spartan fans in Columbus these days.

Michigan State can go to the Rose Bowl if...

  • MSU wins out AND Wisconsin wins out AND Ohio State loses once;
  • MSU wins out AND Iowa and Ohio State both lose once.

Make no mistake about it, Michigan State's 37-6 loss at Iowa dealt a major hit to the Spartans' Rose Bowl chances, but they're far from out of this race. The key for Michigan State is its win over Wisconsin, to the point that Michigan State basically can't win a tiebreaker for the conference title if Wisconsin's not involved.

The good news is that Wisconsin probably will end up at 7-1; the Badgers' last four games are against unranked opponents, and the toughest of the bunch is probably Northwestern -- a game that's in Madison. But the key here is Ohio State, whom Michigan State just can't catch if the Buckeyes finish at 11-1, as mentioned before. If OSU's in the mix, MSU's not. It seems incredibly counter-intuitive that Michigan State would rather be in a three-way tie with Iowam, a team that it lost to, rather than OSU, a team that it didn't play at all , but that's the nature of the Big Ten tiebreaker rules.

Iowa can go to the Rose Bowl if...

  • Iowa wins out AND Wisconsin loses once.

This is the same scenario as last week, and on its face, it seems to be the simplest of the four. No ANDs or ORs here -- if Iowa wins out and Wisconsin loses, the only other team that can finish at 7-1 is Michigan State. Advantage: Iowa.

Of course, for Iowa to win out, it'll have to beat Ohio State AND Northwestern in Evanston. Iowa hasn't beaten an Ohio State team that ended the season with at least nine wins since 1983, and unless all hell breaks loose in Columbus in November (under Jim Tressel, that seems exceedingly unlikely), this OSU team will qualify with ease. Moreover, Iowa robbed Northwestern of a Rose Bowl berth in 2000 with a 27-17 win, and the Wildcats have been exacting their revenge on the Hawkeyes since, winning four of their last five against Iowa. So, yeah. Not a whole lot of history on the Hawkeyes' side on this one.

And lastly, we can't mention Northwestern -- the Big Ten's Loki -- without noting that it's lurking once again this season, waiting to unleash its special brand of discord on the conference title race. Northwestern has four wins over 9-win conference foes in just the last five seasons, and can completely blow this conference race to smithereens by winning out and getting a little help. Sure, the Wildcats have lost to Purdue, blew a 17-point lead to MSU, and have no rushing attack. You underestimate them at your own peril. So without further ado...


  • Northwestern wins out AND Iowa wins out AND Ohio State loses another game on top of the Iowa loss AND Michigan State loses at least once and probably twice.

The crazy thing about Northwestern is that it really only has two plausible nemeses standing in its way in this race: Michigan State, who defeated the Wildcats two weeks ago, and Ohio State (one of Northwestern's byes). The Wildcats still have yet to play Iowa and Wisconsin; if they win those two games, they can be in the clubhouse at 6-2.

The problem is, though, there isn't much chance of Northwestern getting past either MSU or OSU in any tiebreaker scenario. The Wildcats' BCS rating is currently nonexistent, and even wins over Iowa and Wisconsin probably aren't going to be enough to push them past even a two-loss Ohio State. Heck, it's not even certain to get the Wildcats past a two-loss MSU, although that would at least seem a little more plausible. Still, this is quite clearly a longshot, and ony the most mischievous of football gods would set a plan like this into motion. And that only happens in the ACC.

Posted on: October 29, 2010 2:16 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:09 pm

Big Ten struggling with division names

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When it comes to conference expansion, just about everything has been moving along quicker than anticipated in the Big Ten.  Jim Delany originally said that the process would take 12 to 18 months, yet here we are, less than 12 months later, and the conference has already added Nebraska and figured out the new divisions, and where the conference championship game is going to be played.

Yet, somehow, it seems that the part that really should be the easiest, naming the two new divisions, is going to miss a self-imposed deadline.  When the divisions were announced, Delany said that they would have names no later than December 1.  Well, it's nearly November now, and Delany is saying that he might be off on that by two months.

"I could be off by 60 days. I think it's going really slow," said Delany, speaking at Thursday's Big Ten Basketball Media Day. "Why? Because we're trying to get to the logo, and that's going slow. Then we're getting lots and lots of good selections that we're not coalescing very well. So, I think that there's absolutely -- other than missing my deadline by a day or 60 days -- there's really no compelling reason to rush until we get my comfort level."

Seriously?  It's going to take another three months to come up with a couple of divisional names?  I can come up with some in the next 30 seconds.

Great Lakes and Plains.

Bo and Woody.

Or, how about this one, and it might be pretty crazy, EAST AND WEST.

Wow, I just blew your mind, didn't I, Delany?  Yes, I know that the divisions aren't exactly aligned geographically, but what the hell does that matter?  This is a conference with 12 teams that insists on calling itself the Big Ten, after all.  They're just division names, they don't actually mean anything.

Posted on: October 25, 2010 2:26 pm

NCAA, NFL bigwigs convene for agent crackdown

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Give the NCAA and the NFL this: it sounds like they're legitimately trying to find a solution to the lax enforcement rules that turned this past August into one long "Player Suspended After Agent Gives Him Stuff" headline and North Carolina into college football's biggest cautionary tale.

Because if they aren't trying, last week's NCAA-sponsored conference on "agent issues" convened an awful lot of big names for them to not try together. Representing the NFL: Director of Football Operations Merton Hanks , two of his Vice Presidents, Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian , Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay , and two representatives from the NFL Players Association. Representing the NCAA: conference commissioners Mike Slive and Jim Delany , American Football Coaches Association executive director Grant Teaff , and a whole host of high-ranking NCAA officials. Agents from several high-profile sports management firsm were on hand as well, including none other than the dean of college head coaching agents, Jimmy Sexton .

So what did the meeting of this many powerful minds accomplish? They're not telling us just yet :

[The attendees] continue to make progress in identifying potential solutions.

The group has identified opportunities for greater collaboration, including enforcement efforts, potential post-NCAA financial penalties, best practices for the effective enforcement of state agent laws, educational efforts, as well as an examination of the frequency and timing of agent contact with student-athletes.

The only truly telling detail in that last paragraph is "potential post-NCAA financial penalties," a nugget that could potentially mean an NFL suspension or NFL-imposed fines when a player enters the draft. Knowing that whatever cash and benefits a player took today could cost him double that in falling post-suspension draft stock or fines might be a successful deterrent, and in any case would provide stronger negative reinforcement than simply being tagged with nebulous "character issues" ... issues that this month's Sports Illustrated cover story on the subject suggest are shared by nearly every top-tier player eligible.

Unfortunately, whatever strategies the group (which will meet again next month) might recommend, it's going to take a while to put them into practice; according to this release , the NCAA won't be able to change its related legislation until January 2012. Judging by how widespread the practice of illegal benefits seems to be and how big a black eye the NCAA's notions of amateurism has absorbed from them this fall, it might do the NCAA good to find some way of expediting that process.

But whether change comes in the short term or the long term, whether that change proves successful or not, bringing together power-brokers with as much pull as Hanks, Slive and Delany, and Sexton shows that the organizations involved aren't just paying the problem lip service. Now we'll see if they've got enough pull to make a difference.
Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:34 am

Ohio State AD says Big Ten 'done with expansion'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Ohio State and Michigan just to refues to agree on anything, don't they?

A day after former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr looked into his crystal ball and predicted that Notre Dame would one day be a part of the Big Ten, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith picked up Carr's crystal ball and smashed it against a wall.  In an interview with Ohio State's student newspaper, The Lantern , Smith said the Big Ten is done with expansion.

"We're done with it," Smith said. "We're finished. The only thing that would cause us to look at it further is if someone contacted us. So, we're not going to go out and say we're thinking about expansion."

Smith also went on to say he thinks there are some schools out there that might contact the Big Ten or any of the other conferences, but unless they bring something -- money -- to add to the conference, they won't be considered.

So, in other words, the Big Ten isn't really done with expansion, they're just not actively seeking new members.  Which I'm not sure I totally believe, either.  When this all started Jim Delany said it would be a 12-18 month process, and though Nebraska sped that process up a bit, it's still going on.  Maybe Smith is right in that the schools won't be talking about adding teams when they meet in October, but that's just because they have to figure out what they're going to do with their current 12-team situation.

Once they're done with all that, though, the process will begin again.

Hat tip: CFT

Posted on: September 29, 2010 4:08 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 4:15 pm

Lloyd Carr: Notre Dame will join Big Ten

Posted by Tom Fornelli

You know, it's just been too long since somebody mentioned the idea of Notre Dame joining the Big Ten.
The whole situation reminds me of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, when Judge Reinhold fantasizes about Phoebe Cates shedding her top.   Notre Dame shedding its independence has been dreamt about by many, but who knows when or if it will ever happen.

The latest dreamer begging to be caught in the bathroom is Lloyd Carr.   The former Michigan head coach was in Montgomery, Alabama speaking to a group on Tuesday night when he looked into his crystal ball and told them all what the future holds.

"There are lots of changes ahead," Carr said at the Club, according to the Montgomery Advertiser's Wednesday website. "I'll give you one prediction and this is just a personal prediction, but I think Notre Dame is going to come to the Big Ten.

"The Big 12 loses Colorado (to the Pac-10) and Nebraska, so you know something is going to happen there.  I think we're entering a new era of expansion. What we saw last year, I just think (expansion) is not over."
As I said, this is nothing new.  The Big Ten has invited Notre Dame to join the conference on many occasions, only to be rebuffed time and again.  The conference tried to woo Notre Dame again this season before Nebraska decided to make the move and the Big Ten decided to stand pat for now.

The key phrase there being "for now."  Jim Delany has said that the Big Ten will continue to explore expansion, and that could include another dozen roses and box of candy for Notre Dame.  On a lot of levels it makes perfect sense for Notre Dame to make the move since it already has set rivalries within the conference.  At the same time, Notre Dame is a school that is steeped in -- and to some degree suffocated by -- its own tradition, and making such a move goes against just about everything else it wants to be.

Unlike other schools the Big Ten may target, who would receive a significant revenue bump by joining the conference, Notre Dame doesn't feel as though what it would get out of the deal would outweigh what it could lose.

Tip of the hat to Mr. Dodd.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com