The first day of Big Ten Media Days proved to be a day of enlightenment regarding the future of the conference once Commissioner Jim Delany took to the podium. During his forty minute session, we found out the following:
- The league is moving quickly over the next 120 days to finalize a site for the 2011 championship game (which is no longer merely presumed and will be a reality, held in December of 2011) as well as determine the structure of divisions. The decisions on both of those fronts could come as soon as within a month, and the location of the 2011 game could just be a one year thing with the league studying locations for a longer term site afterwards (translation: See you in Indianapolis for 2011).
- The league alignment likely will differ between football and other sports.
- The name of the league won't be changing: "The Big Ten is the Big Ten regardless of number."
- Notre Dame, at least publicly, does not figure into any future expansion plans: "I don't see them as a player." Further, the conference has paused expansion plans overall, but don't be surprised to see them pick up again in the future.
- There's a push to move towards a nine-game conference schedule, within the next three to four years, though Tom Osborne did say that might have to wait until 2015.
Coming into the session, there was much uncertainty about expansion and the league's immediate plans, but Delany cleared up a lot of that.
We'll be back on hand today with more reporting, so be sure to tune in to Twitter to get our latest updates.