Big Ten Media Days are once again upon us, which means football is right around the corner. I don’t know about you, but media days always feel like the start of the football season in a way. No more talk about last year, we’re onto this year. Excitement is building for football and we desperately need it.
Of course, the brightest lights seemed to be on Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren who took the stage with an air of confidence after making a power move for the conference as they underwent westward expansion adding UCLA and USC. Warren made a big statement again Tuesday when asked what’s next for the conference.
In response, he stated it “may” include further expansion. However, he added that the conference would not “expand just to expand” and further noted that it would be for “the right reason at the right time with our student-athletes, academic, and athletic empowerment at the center of any and all decisions”.
With the addition of USC and UCLA last month, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren touched on the subject of further expansion. And he didn't shy away from the possibility.— Andy Olson (@WCIA3Andy) July 26, 2022
"It will be done for the right reasons, at the right time." pic.twitter.com/KYicNtXRun
Now, how you take those statements is totally your choice. You can take it just as he means, or you can take it with some skepticism. To me, it seems like further expansion is a foregone conclusion and Warren was trying to use coach speak while also keeping his cards close to his chest. Fair enough! However, the “right reason at the right time with our student-athletes” talk made me chuckle. Expansion is about one thing, money. I wish we’d stop pretending otherwise. It’s not about athletic empowerment or education. It’s about money.
The other topic that Warren hit on was College Football Playoff expansion. The conference was originally opposed to the idea, but that tune has clearly changed over the years. Why? Well, you already know that answer.
In his comments, Warren said that he is “100% supportive of college football playoff expansion” and “confident that they’ll land on the right number in terms of expansion and that they’ll need to open it up to “multiple media partners”. Translation, more games, more bids, more money. Warren added that he is confident that they’ll “reach some resolution in the future.” They’ve got time to iron it out, as playoff expansion will not take place until at least 2025.
Overall, like much of the off-season, expansion talk took the forefront while actual football talk was thrown to the wayside. We’re all likely used to that by now, but there is no doubt it’s getting a little stale at this point in time. I’m sure that will change tomorrow though as Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst will hit the stage and will likely bring the excitement and flare as he always does!