Jim Delany might as well have answered questions Thursday with his feet up on a table and his arms folded behind his head.
Delany is in that rare spot among the nation’s conference commissioners: He’s content.
He’s not worrying about a computer glitch that reported Missouri as the SEC’s 14th member or the remoteness of Morgantown, W.V., or needing to beg Air Force and Boise State to join his conference.
That’s not entirely true for all of those schools.
Many in the Notre Dame community would push the school toward the ACC, which offers big-time hoops, a link to the East and a football conference sans traditional behemoths Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and Nebraska.
Financially, though, the Big Ten remains the smartest move because of proximity – Notre Dame could reach more than half the schools by bus – and the money-printing operation called the Big Ten Network.
There is the theory that enough Big Ten schools are so turned off by Notre Dame’s previous rejections that they’d tell the Irish to take their Shillelagh and stuff it.
But my sense is that Delany has not closed the door on Notre Dame.
He was careful to say Thursday that: “In the '90s, we had active discussions with Notre Dame, and that was that. We acknowledged it at the time, but we haven’t since.”
They haven’t acknowledged any discussions since. Not that no discussion have taken place. Of course the sides had contact before the Big Ten formally invited Nebraska to join in June of 2010.
But Delany now has no reason to push Notre Dame to join.
The Big Ten has 12 happy members who share their wealth evenly. It has a lucrative conference title game and three of the five winningest programs in college football history, albeit none that have a shot at the BCS title this season.
While other leagues scramble to fill voids, Delany can sit back and enjoy the show.