The Big Ten will likely adopt a 9-game conference football schedule and stage a conference championship game, commissioner Jim Delaney said at the Big Ten media days.
Delaney said the nine-game conference schedule would not begin until at least 2013. On the other hand, the Big Ten Championship game should begin in December 2011. A site for the game has yet to be determined.
Also yet to be determined is the future divisional layout of the Big Ten. The Nebraska Cornhuskers will join in 2011, giving the conference 12 teams.
Regarding the Notre Dame Fighting Irish being in the future plans of the Big Ten, Omaha.com reported the following:
What Delany doesn’t expect is Notre Dame, an independent in football and a Big East member in other sports, to be part of future Big Ten expansion discussions.
“I don’t see them as a player, really,” Delany said. “(Athletic Director) Jack Swarbrick has been consistent from the beginning about their commitment to the Big East and their commitment to independence.”
The Big Ten has sent feelers out to Notre Dame twice before and was rebuffed. Delany’s tone was indicative of that.
“I see Notre Dame playing in the Big East for many years to come, and I see them being an independent in football for many years to come,” he said. “I take at face value Jack’s statements in that regard.”
“Big Ten” will also be the name of the conference well into the future, regardless of how many teams there are. “I think the Big Ten is the Big Ten regardless of the number,” Delany said.