With yesterday's news of the ACC's Grant of Rights deal, while conference realignment and expansion is not dead, it has been greatly impeded. For now, anyway.
And as I wrote yesterday, it also means that the Big Ten will likely be sticking at 14 schools for a while, as Virginia, Georgia Tech and North Carolina don't seem like actual options right now. But since nobody ever really wants the rumors of conference realignment to go away -- PAGEVIEWS, PAGEVIEWS, PAGEVIEWS! -- the Omaha World-Herald was all too happy to talk about something it's heard from sources before.
If the Big Ten can't go east, it could always go south or west.
As a sidenote, two sources have told The World-Herald that the Big Ten has done prior "homework" on Oklahoma, Kansas and Vanderbilt among other schools who might some day be expansion targets. The Big 12 grant-of-rights deal didn't stop a look-see for OU and KU.
You know what? I'm sure the Big Ten has done homework on Oklahoma, Kansas and Vanderbilt. In fact, I'm sure the Big Ten has done homework on a lot of schools. If at any point a school seemed "available" in the last few years I'm willing to bet that Jim Delany and the Big Ten looked into it to see what, if any value that school could bring to the Big Ten.
As for the odds that the Big Ten would actually consider adding any of those three, I wouldn't think they're very good. Delany made it clear in recent months that the Big Ten's path was to the east coast, as that's where the country's population growth is occurring. And at the end of the day that's what this is about.
People have eyeballs, and the more people there are, the more eyeballs that they have. And the more eyeballs that are around, the more televisions exist. And Delany wants those eyeballs on the Big Ten.