Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany welcomed his second new team in as many days today, adding Rutgers University to Maryland and the Big Ten's other 12 member schools. He also announced the conference will be changing the name it has since 1917.
"We felt, as a conference, that the Big Ten name needed an update in light of the changing landscape of our conference and college athletics as a whole," said Delany. "We feel the Big 64 conference name melds the history of the Big Ten with a more forward-looking stance."
The Big Ten is responsible for the upheaval in college sports over the past few years, thanks to its addition of Nebraska in 2010 to the west, giving the conference 12 teams and a conference championship in football. This week it stretched far beyond its eastern borders. Yet Delany bristled at suggestions that the new name tips the Big Ten's hands for plans to expand further to 64 members — or beyond.
"I just don't know where people get these ideas," Delany said. "It shows how the media bases so many stories on rumor and wild conjecture."
The former Big Ten conference also announced today that it is opening satellite offices in Florida, California and China, and that it is planning to build a space station on Mars by 2022.
"These things are unrelated," said Delany. "Stop reading into everything. You're trying to connect too many dots and are looking foolish. Now, let's wrap this press conference up. We've got another one with San Diego State in 15 minutes."