B1G's Master Plan

By Kyle Lamb on May 18, 2012 at 10:00a
32 Comments
Does B1G Commish Jim Delany have something up his sleeve?

Once a decade or so, the pragmatic Jim Delany comes out from his time-deprivation chamber to advance the plodding Big Ten a revolutionary step forward. Inexplicably, Delany then crawls back into his shell like a frightened turtle where the league hibernates for an indeterminate amount of time.

This cycle is as predictable as the day is long.

Last month, Delany took a small step forward – a large leap for Delany-kind – by offering his support for a prospective four-team playoff model that began percolating of heightened anticipation. He suggested, though, that he preferred a model that included higher-seeded teams hosting the semifinals.

B1G athletic directors emerged from meetings this week in Chicago with the league now staunchly against the idea and instead prefer to utilize BCS bowls. This turnabout could be a bargaining chip, the product of calculated genius. It also could be tomfoolery and caving to what Death to the BCS author Dan Wetzel calls the ‘bowl cartel.’

“For us, it’s critical to keep the Rose Bowl in the equation,” Michigan State AD Mark Hollis told reporters on Tuesday.

Twitter sensation Fake Dan Beebe responded most aptly yesterday when he tweeted, “direct Message to Jim Delany: I wish I knew 3 years ago that I could make you do whatever I want if I just called myself the Rose Bowl.”

It appears the cartel won, for now. But if this is just a thinly-veiled bluff, perhaps Delany should work on his poker face.

Much of Delany’s nearly quarter-century spent as the head of the Big Ten’s political machine has been directed with conservatism not seen since the formation of the Whig Party. When Delany’s Model-T gets to sputtering too loudly, though, the sand-bagging son-of-a-gun surprises us with some blockbuster that screams, “gotcha!”

Such was the case in 2007 when, against dire prognostications of industry experts, he spearheaded the launch of the Big Ten Network. Last month’s comments were a cursory step forward, but akin to a flat-earth believer finally confessing the earth is round.

Maybe Delany was merely opining when he came out in support of playing semfinal games on home sites. However, before going on record, you can wager any amount you’ll blow on today’s Facebook IPO that he wouldn’t make such proclamations without support of his conference constituents.
 

It well could be the work of a tactical ploy; a Jedi mind trick.

In Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker arrived in Tatooine with their droids looking for an experienced pilot. When imperial storm troopers showed up suspicious of the droids, Kanobe swiftly used the mind trick to get out of a sticky situation.

“Let me see your identification,” a trooper demanded of Luke.

“You don’t need to see his identification,” Kenobi said to the trooper, gentling rotating his palm toward the trooper.

“We don’t need to see his identification,” the trooper acquiesced before giving in to further sorcery, “you can go about your business.”

This kind of manipulation might work on the non-AQ conferences, or the equivalent of Tatooine rent-a-cops like, apparently, the ACC’s John Swofford, but one wonders if such a ploy will work on Delany’s arch nemesis, Mike Slive.

Unlike Swofford, Slive has equal or greater clout than Delany. His conference, the SEC, is the only one that can go toe-to-toe in revenue mentioning nothing of the many trophies they’re amassing when Alabama isn’t breaking them.

These mind tricks won’t work on Slive. Nor did they work on Jabba the Hut when Luke tried it in Return of the Jedi.

Skywalker returned to Tatooine to save Han Solo and Princess Leia from Jabba’s palace. To force entry and confront Jabba, he uses the mind control tricks taught to him by Kenobi on the guards. Jabba, though, is too wise to be influenced and is furious at the unsuspecting guard.

“You weak-minded fool! He’s using an old Jedi mind trick.”

Slive is the only match for Delany, the gatekeeper of major college football. Perhaps Swofford’s sudden support of a Delany-backed plan to have only conference champions in a playoff system is anecdotal evidence Delany is having his cake and eating it too; staying slaves to BCS bowls and using the semifinals as leverage toward the champions-only model. Slive has publicly admonished such a proposal.

What’s the endgame here? What’s up Delany’s sleeve? Perhaps the same object of desire as has been for 20 years: Notre Dame.

The B1G’s flirtation with the Irish has long passed the point of desperation. It’s the pimply-faced teenager that asks out the head cheerleader to every homecoming and prom for four years, though constantly being rejected. That would be noble persistence, except now he’s asking out the homecoming queen after she’s had three kids, put on 40 pounds and is living off food stamps.

An all-champions’ playoff would be Notre Dame’s death knell associated with an already-weakened Big East. It would mean losing their privileged BCS existence they’ve enjoyed for two decades as an independent.

One hopes this is the case otherwise their expansion motives are suspect.

Adding Nebraska to the fray has been a net positive for the conference. With the minor exception of the whole Legends-Leaders snafu, the transition has largely gone without a hitch. But while expanding just to expand doesn’t make sense, eye brows were raised when the B1G let Missouri run off to the SEC without even so much as a, ‘hey, can we talk?’

A super-conference model has been the clear destination for college football since expansion exploded two summers ago. Accordingly, despite the Big Ten’s lust for Notre Dame, it never made sense not to have viable backup plans for members 14-16.

In Delany’s delusions of grandeur, he has been doing the Texas two-step with the Longhorns while promenading with the Irish. The Big 12’s newfound stability seems to suggest the possibility of a shotgun marriage between Texas and the Big Ten has been all but swallowed whole by Bevo himself.

Last week, the conference agreed to a new 13-year deal with ESPN/Fox that is worth a reported $2.6 billion. The deal also reportedly extends the league’s grant of rights, which means if any team were to leave for another conference, money paid by those networks to the departing team would be forfeited to the Big 12. This leaves the door slightly ajar for Texas and the Big Ten, but more on that in shortly.

The Big Ten can snap its fingers and solicit an application from Rutgers on command. Finding other (qualified) candidates might be a bit tricky.

The most oft-mentioned targets have been Maryland, Connecticut and Georgia Tech. When the ACC voted last summer to increase its buyout provision to $20 million, reportedly Maryland and Florida State were the only two schools to vote against the measure. An East coast expansion including Maryland, Connecticut and Rutgers could be a feasible scenario for the Big Ten if or when the Irish commit.

The ball, though, is in the court of Notre Dame.

Delany can afford to wait them out a little while longer, as the conference media rights with ABC/ESPN don’t expire until 2016. Letting a decent addition like Missouri go without a fight, though, seems a bit risky especially if the Domers bolt for the ACC.

The ACC is thought to be a legitimate possibility for Notre Dame if they abandon independence. But two recent developments have Delany assuredly smiling: the mediocre deal signed by the ACC this past week with ESPN and the subsequent anger expressed by Florida State over the league’s direction, or perceived lack thereof.

Reportedly the deal will net the ACC $17 million per school per year on average over its life through 2027 – a $4 million increase. The stunning revelation, though, is this increase won’t be realized until nearly nine years into the deal. This was the extension that was triggered after adding Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

With an FSU trustee going full Mark Cuban-mode this week and openly acknowledging they would explore the Big 12, the ACC is suddenly looking both unstable and unattractive financially to Notre Dame. Former trustee Derrick Brooks doused the flames further this week by adding the Big 12 has contacted the Seminoles. If Florida State and/or Miami left, setting off departures by Georgia Tech, Maryland and others, the ACC would assuredly be checked off Notre Dame’s real estate watch list.

Meanwhile, the Big Ten is set up for a windfall of gargantuan proportions. 

The B1G’s biggest ally in 2016 is going to be supply and demand itself. In 2009, Comcast purchased NBC Universal from General Electric and last year acquired sports network Versus with the idea of rebranding it NBC Sports Network. The goal was to go mono-y-mono with the Worldwide Leader in Sports.

So far, NBC has only added lightweights Ivy and Colonial to its college athletics inventory. With the SEC signed with ESPN through 2024, the Pac-12 and Big 12 with ESPN & Fox through 2025 and the ACC through 2027, the Big Ten is NBC’s only hope of landing a big fish for the next decade. The courtship of the Big Ten is about to become bigger than Brad and Angelina.

Comcast will give the moon to the Big Ten to land its tier-1 rights. It has to if it wants to be seen as a legitimate competitor. NBC already holds the rights to Notre Dame, which expires after 2015, so a Big Ten-Notre Dame merger would be ideal.

NBC could offer the league an unobstructed doubleheader for football and basketball, a tripleheader on NBC Sports and tier-3 games remain on the Big Ten Network. Delany’s craving for maximum exposure would be served with a Comcast deal, as they could be the lone major tenant for nearly a decade.

Even if Comcast struck out with its bid, the mere leverage should force ESPN to pony-up dearly.

Going to NBC could also allow for a loophole that allows Texas to bolt for the Big Ten, should the sneaky horns get bored with the restructured Big 12. The grant of rights deal would apply to ESPN/Fox, which has rights to every other major conference, but if the Big Ten left for Comcast, it's believed the grant of rights would not apply. So theoretically, the Longhorns could leave for the Big Ten without paying a penny.

Is this why Delany has been so coy? Perhaps not, but it is one plausible theory of the Big Ten’s contentment with 12 teams.

None of this guarantees this latest playoff concession is anything more than a public relations blunder. It does give hope though that Delany hasn’t gone deadbeat on us and he’s merely plotting his attack like a snake in the grass. The concession itself isn’t dire, but it’s strange to say the least.

There aren’t many other explanations for why the Big Ten has backed off its desire of having teams host the semifinals; certainly not many good. Notre Dame, carrying extra baggage since high school as she might be, would still be marrying up for the Big Ten.

Ignoring Missouri removes what would have been a nice secondary option with or without Notre Dame. Though the Irish aren’t the powerhouse they used to be, they and Texas are the only two possible home runs the Big Ten can hit. Now, if the league is looking to score, it must entrust its expansion plans to either the virgin pledging lifelong conference abstinence or the two-timing harlot that would sell its body to the most available suitor.

This latest obstacle might not be an unprecedented foray for calculating Delany. He is, though, dealing with the only people in athletics that know how to manipulate as well as he does.

Is all of this part of a master plan? God be with the Big Ten if it isn’t. It would be back into Delany’s shell for 10 more years.

32 Comments

Comments

Baroclinicity's picture

Great insight.  Is it worth courting FSU in all of this?

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Kyle Lamb's picture

For me, I would think it's an outside-the-box option worth considering. The Big Ten has already considered Georgia Tech, Miami and Vanderbilt, so if they're interested in Southern expansion, Florida State would be an intriguing option as well.

hodge's picture

Nice read, Kyle.  I can only hope that Delaney is up to such tricks, I'd love kicking the Hell out of Notre Dame on an annual basis.  Quick heads-up, though; Obi-Wan's last name is Kenobi.
\Nerd

Kyle Lamb's picture

I can't believe I messed that up not once, not twice but thrice! I knew there'd be a Star Wars guru in the crowd to catch me if I fell lol

 

Buckeye414's picture

amazing read.

-Go Bucks!

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

You have to look at these schools and what they have to offer the Big Ten:
Notre Dame - loyal and dedicated national fanbase, huge brand name, strong academically, regional fit, always gets TV audiences
Mizzou - nothing to offer besides being a good regional fit. No expansion of TV market, above average athletic programs.
Rutgers and/or UConn - not a step up competition-wise, but HUGE for expanding the B1G footprint into NYC, the world's largest media market. BTN offered everywhere in greater NYC, Conference Championship Game at the Meadowlands, Conference Tournament Games at The Garden (sorry Big East, Jim Delany has more money than you and he WILL outbid you for the Garden), and establishing a B1G footprint in a region that could potentially be a huge recruiting hotbed thanks to the explosion of previously non-existant youth and high school football in that area.
Florida State - doesn't really offer too much as far as expanding BTN (it's already offered by most Florida providers), but will certainly garner a few higher rated games. Probably a bigger win for recruiting, but I think the SEC and ACC have pretty much put a stranglehold on most of the Florida talent already. It'd be much easier to establishash a footprint in an area that isn't really dominated by another conference right now, like somewhere along the mid to upper East Coast.
Perhaps we should consider a North Carolina school. The state has been expanding a shit-ton recently, and there are a lot of kids from transplant parents that really have no allegiances to the ACC or the SEC. Might not be a bad idea if there were a school worth taking (No way you're going to separate Duke and UNC, and it's be tough to take both, but WOW what a basketball conference you would have then!).

hodge's picture

Though the NYC media market is massive, it isn't a college football market.  In terms of relative audience, Atlanta is almost as big (since a massive proportion of the market watches college football).  Furthermore, New York as a whole doesn't really root for Rutgers, they're either (A) apathetic to college football, or (B) are transplants from all across the country, therefore evenly distributing the market.
This is a good source for relative college football market size.  Personally, I don't think their statistics about overall college football fanbases are even remotely close to accurate (you're telling me that only 10% of Texas roots for UT?  And almost that same number roots for A&M?), but it does provide a rough outline.  Not to mention, being from the New York Times they go pretty in-depth about the New York market.  In my opinion, NYC's a pro town, we're much better off going after ND.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

I agree... it's not really a college sports city (although the Big East Tourny seems to do pretty well). But that's what's unique about it. Ther market is so ripe, perhaps they could "make" the market their (not unlike the "market makers" down on Wall Street). You don't necessarily need to turn everyone into a rabid fan. You just need a reason to have bar owners put BTN on some of their TVs as well as a reason to have local papers (like the Times and Post) cover the B1G.
It certainly is high risk but it offers a potentially huge reward. I really think Greater NYC is the next recruiting hotbed. I used to have a bunch of numbers on the expansion of youth and high school football up there, but the increase is astounding. Real estate has always been scarce up there, and no one school could have a field, and many schools could not share a field until field turf was invented. Now three high schools can share the same field, and entire youth leagues can utilize one field, which along with an increase in the black middle class over the past 30 years has significantly increased the amount of youth football being played.
I used to compete at the Armory once or twice a year for track in Harlem. There's a shit-ton of speed and athleticism up there and it wasn't until recently that they had access to euipment and fields.

pcon258's picture

i agree hodge. i grew up and currently live (while not at school) in new jersey, about 20 minutes outside of nyc. I can tell you firsthand that rutgers would be a pretty awful fit for the B1G. Their fans are pretty much limited to current students. I have never been to, watched, or even heard of someone going to a rutgers football game, and I live 15 minutes from the campus. 
I would say that there are about as many Notre Dame fans in the nyc area as there are rutgers. its probably the catholic influence round those parts, and also everyone's seen rudy...but in terms of recruiting I agree that NYC/NJ/D.C. will be an up and coming recruiting market. NJ is consistently in the top two states in the country in terms of track and field prowess, and if you take a kid who can run a 25 second 200 and teach him to run a post route, he will do well. 
Basically, notre dame, texas, and oklahoma are the only schools i could feasibly see the B1G adding. Godamn I hope delaney has a master plan, there had better be some serious incentives to not have playoff games on campus

RedStorm45's picture

I agree about Delany not looking for expansion options to 14 or 16.  Lost out on Mizzou, Pitt, West Virginia, and Syracuse...all average (or slightly below-average in some cases) options for expansions but he apparently didn't care or is waiting for the remains of the Big East to join.
 
Agree on Facebook IPO (by blow it I assume you mean the stock price can't sustain $40 at a $100 billion valuation)...unless you can short it haha.

Kyle Lamb's picture

That's precisely what I meant with the Facebook line lol

If someone can grab it and unload today to make a quick buck, that would be great. However, I wouldn't personally buy any shares with the plan of holding onto them.

 

pcon258's picture

yea i think facebook is slowing moving towards being passed over for the next thing. I know at least among my own peers, it is becoming more and more irrelevant. I spend about 25% of the time that i used to spend on it. they need a game changer to stay relevant over the long haul. I think this was the perfect time to go public though. Zuckerburgs going home with a pretty nice chunk of change

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Kentucky and Tennessee. I think Kentucky would leave the SEC for a stronger hoops conference in a heartbeat, especially when you start projecting how they would raise basketball viewership on BTN (which is already sstrong) and start waiving dollars at them. Tennessee would be much tougher, but Tennessee sports revenue has taken a bit of a hit lately, so they may be open to at least listening to Delany.

Jdadams01's picture

UK will never leave the SEC. They own that conference for basketball and like being associated with the "SEC greatness". Plus, they feel they've carved out a nice niche for football. Generally wins 7-8 games and a mediocre bowl. Not bad for a basketball school.

Bucksfan's picture

Very well-constructed argument.  Hopefully we're all still around in 5 years to see if you were right!  I don't think Texas is viable, and I definitely hope as much.  That school is toxic to every environment in which it sits.  Nebraska would sh*t its diaper if we took the school they were trying to get away from all along.

GoBucksOSU's picture

I think adding Texas would be cool. OSU has had some great games against Texas in 05 and 06. I wouldn't mind playing against them every year. And would Nebraska be trying to get away from Texas?

Buckeyeneer's picture

"And would Nebraska be trying to get away from Texas?"
I'll take this at face value. Texas has, rightly or wrongly, been accused as being the source of discontentment in the Big 12. The unequal sharing of revenue benefiting Texas and them creating the Longhorn Network, and having the Big 12 Championship Game played in Texas every year are some of the reasons for instability in that conference, which caused Nebby to leave the Big 12.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes
THE Ohio State University

buckeyedude's picture

"Nebby." <--------I like that.
From this day forward, Nebraska shall henceforth be known as Nebby. So it is written.... So it shall be done.

 

 

chicagobuckeye's picture

Texas- while it has the largest revenue for an athletic program, it doesn't really fit into the BIG. I think Delany will want to add programs more in "BIG territory" take Nebraska although they are the furthest west of any of the schools, they are a Midwest school and relatively close to everyone else.  I think it would be cool to get Texas, but I think it doesn't fit the BIG model.
ND- I think this is the school we have the best shot with, but I don't know if ND would be willing to give up independence.  I know that the conference champion only model would hurt them, but the fact that they have all the commissioners in the meeting and then the ND AD makes it seem like they are not really worried about their position in all this.
Rutgers- I think that Rutgers would be a fine fit into the model, but BIG fans would go crazy because they add nothing athletically.  The only reason I see adding them is not for NY, but instead for academics, or to get to 14 or 16.
Florida State- I again think it doesn't fit the model the BIG is after, and much like ND they are a has been.  The fans are fine, but you split the state into three major programs.  Geographically it doesn't do a whole lot, and academically again not high enough to disregard the other glaring issues.
Maryland- I think is another fit with ND.  Academics are pretty high, and not really outside of the comfort zone for the BIG.  The athletics have been up or down, but in both basketball and football would be a middle of the road program that sometimes is way up, and sometimes is way down.  Also, expands recruiting to the Maryland/DC/Northern Virginia area.  Personally, if we move to 14 I would want to see ND and Maryland.

Kentucky- Didn't see this until reading the comments and I think its a decent idea.  Terrible program football wise, and doesn't add much exposure to fans in the area, but adds recruiting through recruits seeing Kentucky on BTN and the possibility for the lower basketball programs to pick up the players Kentucky snubbed.
Good Read overall.

NC_Buckeye's picture

I brought this up earlier in the week. At six members, Big Ten hockey is extremely shaky and Delany is wanting for hockey to have more exposure on the BTN winter schedule (the whole reason-to-be for creating the hockey conference in the first place).
Therefore ND as always is the most sought after school. But I also could see him adding UConn in order to add a seventh or eighth hockey school thereby giving B1G hockey some stability.
BC would be a better get academically and all-sport-wise than UConn but I don't ever see them leaving Hockey East. BC would want to be in for every sport but hockey and that's not going to fly.
Everyone above except ND will never fly. Especially Rutgers, Maryland, and Kentucky.

Boxley's picture

Wow, look how close you were/are with this posting, and now Viola! Maryland and Rutgers do join six months later.Nicely done Sir, nicely done.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Very interesting analysis, speculation, Kyle. The point about NBC being in the market is definitely worth pondering. However, one could easily make the argument that NBC wouldn't need, or even necessarily prefer, ND to be a member of the BT to maximize both products.
ND already plays three relatively popular BT programs a year: usually Michigan (great product), MSU (good product), Purdue (decent product). They do not play lesser products like Indiana or Minnesota, but instead annually play a few other marquee non-BT products like USC and Stanford, and mix-in some other high value products. In 2012, ND plays Miami FL, BYU, and Oklahoma. In 2013, they play Oklahoma and Arizona State. Etc.
ND + the BT might be better for NBC than ND in the BT.
Meanwhile, we're seeing that conferences larger than 12 present scheduling problems. For the SEC, it makes for bad schedules. For the BT, it would be even more problematical, because the conference has so many regional rivalries among the lesser programs (Iowa, Wisky, Minn are all long-time rivals and all want to play Nebraska as often as possible, plus they have several other rivalries thrown in for good measure).
In short, I don't see this factor as motivating Delany's strategies (or lack thereof) pertaining to the playoff negotations.  

hodge's picture

It's entirely plausable that the only way that NBC could afford Notre Dame and the Big Ten is if the two were together.  

Run_Fido_Run's picture

You mean they would get ND in the BT for less than ND + BT separately (one package instead of two)? That's probably true. But, right now, they show every ND game. If ND is in the BT, that might not go over well, if every ND game is on NBC, but only 1 Indiana game, if that.   

hodge's picture

Ehh, it'd be partnership 'twixt NBC and the BTN.  With those two channels, I'm sure something could be hashed out.  The other side is that since ND has such a compratively national fanbase, we could see the BTN everywhere.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Good points, but do they necessarily have to be in the BT? What stops the BTN from carrying ND programming? Call it BTN + ND.
From a business perspective, package it altogether, but allow ND to do their thing; allow the BT to avoid the 12+ scheduling mess; allow NBC to carry every ND football game; and allow ND to remain in Big East bball. Everyone is happy, but is it consistent with bylaws, etc.?

hodge's picture

I can't imagine that Delaney would go for that.  In doing so he's basically saying that ND is such a precious commodity that they can be added to our television lineup (while subsequently taking revenue and exposure from other schools), while not joining the conference.  I remember when the Big East went to Hell, the ACC's head honcho mentioned that he would not allow ND to join for basketball only--either you're in or you're out.  The Big Ten has more power and money than the ACC and needs ND a lot less than the ACC does, so I'd imagine that Delaney will use the BTN as a bargaining chip to get them in.  When NBC renews in 2015, they're going to offer less than the current deal, and I'd imagine sometime around then Delaney will start to court them, making explicitly sure to mention that ND stands to gain a lot more from the Big Ten's shared revenue (all sports) than from sticking it out on their own.  Make no mistake, the BTN will factor heavily into that deal.
I wonder if all this time, Delaney's been posturing for this.  Nebraska, the BTN, unparalelled revenue streams; all of these things--coupled with ND's fall from absolute TV cow they once were--have combined to offer ND sanctuary, and the Big Ten their third Indiana school. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Another possible reason that Delany is laying low, which just came to my mind: maybe Delany and the BT powers-that-be conceded on home field semifinals and other points because they know that what their foes are proposing is logistically incoherent, or untenable.
They say, "sure, we'll agree to use the bowls for semifinals, with another bowl or neutral site for the championship game one week later. But since we're conceding everything else, we must insist on preserving the BT/P12 relationship with the Rose Bowl. Show us what you have in mind with a plan that preserves the Rose Bowl . . ."
The thing is, there is no way to make what the SEC wants actually work while also preserving the Rose Bowl in any meaningful way. It's not feasible. So, they go along and wait for the others to come back with their convoluted plans. Then, the BT won't even have to shoot down the plans because others will point out the problems.
At that point, Delany swoops in . . .

NW Buckeye's picture

Kyle, Thanks for writing this.  You did point out that Delany would not have publicly stated support for on campus semis if he did not have some support from his constituents. I felt from the get go that the turn around from on campus playoffs to supporting the bowl system had much more to it than just a change of face.  Delany is no dummy.  Despite his awkward public showings at times, there is quite a bit going on behind the scenes.  And he knows to fight the battles that he has a better chance of winning which he quite often does quite far from the public's eyes.  No telling what he is really up to but, I think you are on the right track.  It could be as simple as garnering support for the champions only format, or it could be something much more.  One thing for certain, it was not an about face for nothing. 

spqr2008's picture

and if we get Kentucky and Tennessee, we keep the conference including only the victors in the Civil War (Tennessee was represented by Senator Andrew Johnson, who stayed in the Union and was officailly its representative, and military governor, he ran as Lincoln's Vice President in 1864).  Plus, the basketball would be insane.

Irricoir's picture

What are the chances that Delaney would allow his pride to make a decision that would spite the desires of most B1G fans? Notre Dame has turned the B1G down so many times that I think he may be a little Butt Hurt. You would think that he would be above that though I remember the episode of him sending a bottle of Champagne to the big wig at ESPN after the B1G Network proved to be a success.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Irricoir's picture

If we take Kentucky we make our record versus the SEC in non bowl games worse.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.