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Conference expansion, realignment means wider reach for Michigan

By Stephen J. Nesbitt, Daily Sports Editor
Published November 20, 2012

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany admitted in a teleconference Monday that he would entertain and revisit the possibilities of adding one conference game to the football schedule and two to the basketball schedule.

“The coaches generally like fewer games, I know the commissioners generally like more games and I think there’s probably a compromise in the middle,” Delany said.

Extra games and extra travel on the table, Brandon and Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein agreed that the debate will be shelved for the time being, especially with whispers of the conference expanding to 16 teams at some point in the future.

“It’s certainly my belief and hope we’ll get to 14 and then we’ll have seven teams (in each division),” Brandon told the Detroit Free Press, “and have to go through the whole process of rescheduling in the out years, the whole discussion of eight conference games versus more conference games (in football), the whole discussion of the structures of the divisions. It’ll be great fun for our fans.”

Beilein said Monday travel in the long basketball season is inevitable, but didn’t give his preference on a number of conference games to play in the future.

“With the way we’re allowed to travel right now, it’s still going to be 18 games,” Beilein said. “I don’t care if we’re going to Maryland or you’re going to Nebraska or Minnesota, there’s still going to be travel.”