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“If you take away another nonconference game, it would have a detrimental impact financially for everybody in the conference, and we would’ve taken the biggest hit because we have the largest stadium,” he said.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini praised the division alignment and the nine-game format.
“Geography seems to be a logical way to determine the divisions, and it should allow for easier travel for our fans,” he said in a statement. “The nine-game conference schedule will help improve the strength of schedules across the board in the Big Ten, and I think everyone anticipates strength of schedule being a key component for choosing teams to participate in the new playoff system.”
Delany said athletic directors met in person or talked on conference calls six times from December to March to discuss the changes.
“The level of cooperation and collaboration was reflective of what we’ve come to expect from this group of administrators who have worked extremely well together on a number of complex matters over the past several years,” he said. “We are all looking forward to ushering in this new era of Big Ten football.”
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