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The move shocked the college athletic world—UCLA and USC were leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big 10.

Forward-thinking by Big 10 commissioner Kevin Warren who has been a pinata for critics over Covid issues and not acquiring schools such as Texas or Oklahoma when they were on the market, is now getting whatever credit is being dished out.

One could ask how the Big 10's alliance partners, the Pac-12 and Atlantic Coast Conference feel right now, but that is a secondary story.

The cliche is that history repeats itself.

With that in mind, consider what happened in the Big 10 about 15 years ago when former Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delany was seeking ways to expand the then fairly new Big 10 Network.

Delany, a Jersey guy, with ACC ties (North Carolina) focused on the South, particularly Atlanta, where he wanted to implant the Big 10 flag in the heart of SEC and ACC country.

He focused and was making progress on Georgia Tech for a variety of reasons. He was also concentrating on getting into the Northeast’s New York-Washington corridor and had targeted Maryland and to a lesser extent Rutgers because of its New York market proximity.

It would be another legacy move for Delany, who was establishing himself and the Big 10 as the leader of the Power 5 conference pack.

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At the final moment, Georgia Tech backed out and Delany went to plan B which was Rutgers and Maryland.  Those two schools along with Penn State gave the Big 10 a solid presence in the television saturated Northeast.

Fast forward the clock. Delany is now two years into semi-retirement. He is doing some consulting and offering his always interesting and informative viewpoint to selected power bases.

I once asked Delany if he loved to play the board game of Risk, about world domination, when he was a kid.

He answered with a smile.

So look at what happened. The Big Ten just expanded its network footprint in the second biggest television market in the country.

Instead of going south or east, they went West.

And, don't be surprised if the next move comes quickly, which includes a Northwest quadrant of Washington and Oregon, which would give the Big 10 and the Big 10 Network the exposure they want.

It's a carbon copy of the Big Ten's move into the East, only in the opposite direction.

The headlines might suggest the Big Ten and Kevin Warren, but pull back the curtain and I would be stunned if you didn't see a grinning Jim Delany sitting at a table with a CFP version of Risk laid out in front of him.