Commissioner Jim Delany has been steadfast in the past couple of months in stating that an announcement of how the Big Ten will split into two six-team divisions is expected to come at some point in September.
Wednesday is September 1, and it appears the conference may indeed be on the verge of an announcement. And possibly pissing off a whole lot of people in the process if recent insinuations are accurate.
Four different media sources have been reporting throughout the late afternoon and into the evening that an announcement could — bold, italicize and underline the word “could” — be in the offing at some point tomorrow.
One of the first and most extensive reports came from Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.com. Citing a Big Ten Network source, Dodd reports that the conference could make an announcement on their network tomorrow night as “there is time on the schedule” to do so. The source made sure to stress to Dodd that that he has no knowledge of a planned announcement; rather, he mentions that there is a live college preview scheduled for Wednesday night on the network and that an announcement is possible.
The first to report of the Big Ten possibly divulging its divisional plans for 2011 and beyond also came from CBS Sports.com, with one of their site’s college football bloggers noting speculation about a Wednesday announcement.
Subsequent to those reports, two respected college football writers — who we believe have no connection to Mike Wise — have posted information on their Twitter accounts confirming that the talk of an announcement is indeed buzzing around.
Mike Carmin of the West Lafayette Journal and Courier tweeted — why do I still feel dirty every time I type that word? — that the “Nebraska Asst. AD for FB says they’re coming out, according to a radio station in Lincoln.” Yahoo.com‘s Tom Dienhart also chimed in, tweeting that “[w]ord is that Big Ten will announce 2011 divisions on Wednesday.” It’s unclear if Dienhart is referring to the previous reports or is getting the information from a separate source or sources.
An email sent by CFT to the Big Ten seeking comment has yet to be answered.
Let’s stress one more time that nobody cited above is reporting that an announcement is definitely coming down tomorrow. Based on the reports, however, it certainly seems like something that dwells within the realm of possibility.
And that would certainly be a helluva way to get a jump on a college football season that will start 24 hours or so from the time an announcement could happen.
UPDATED 10:27 p.m. ET: Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune adds some fuel to the above fire, writing that “sources indicate the league is ready to move” on an announcement of the Big Ten’s divisional split, presumably sooner rather than later.