Big Jim Delany, on why playing a nine-game conference schedule is preferable:
One, it’s really hard to get quality non-conference games. People don’t want to go on the road because everybody is trying to get seven home games. Two, I don’t have anything against FCS, but they have a different number of scholarships for gosh’s sakes. What is that about? They have 20 fewer scholarships. I know they’re looking for a payday; I get that. Appalachian State beat Michigan. But I’m just saying for us, it’s more about binding a conference together and it’s about the difficulty of getting good non-conference opponents.
We want our fans to come to games. We’ve got to give them good games. We also have a network. We also have season-ticket holders. … What I really like is that every athlete in the Big Ten who plays football will play every opponent inside the four-year period. That’s what I like.
Yeah, I know part of that is shot taking at the SEC. But when even an arrogant jerk like Delany who’s been focused on growing a TV network über alles (how ’bout that Rutgers, eh, Jim?) recognizes there are some inevitabilities when you expand a conference beyond twelve schools, it’s hard to see how Mike Slive is going to get by with an eight-game conference slate for very long.