Scoop: Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told ESPN that the recent additions of Rutgers and Maryland to the conference were due to “an Eastern initiative with a Penn State bridge.”
Significance: The Big Ten, which is widely considered to be college football’s second most powerful conference behind the SEC, feared that Penn State would eventually leave the league due to its lack of east coast programs.
Story: Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez told the Wisconsin athletic board that the Big Ten’s decision to expand was due in part to Jim Delany’s concern about losing Penn State to an east coast league. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Alvarez said, “Jim felt that someday, if we didn’t have anyone else in that corridor, someday it wouldn’t make sense maybe for Penn State to be in our league.” Alvarez added, “That they would go into a league somewhere on the east coast. By doing that, it keeps us in the northeast corridor.” Delany had no comment.
Barry Alvarez says B10 expansion done in part to keep Penn St. I agree. Expansion to the east helped protect Penn State from isolation.
— Gene Wojciechowski (@GenoEspn) December 7, 2012