Ohio State's Gene Smith says the Big Ten isn't actively going after any realignment opportunities at the moment, meaning rumors of ACC teams with open offers to join the conference last week may have been inaccurate.
Despite rumors that Virginia, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina were being courted by the Big Ten, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says the conference is not immediately seeking expansion, reports CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler, and that it isn't really looking at anything down the line either.
Maryland and Rutgers' entrance the conference in November was sudden, thanks to a non-disclosure agreement Maryland signed while negotiating the move that limited the amount of people in the know about the conference switch. The secrecy surrounding that move and second- and third-hand nature of reports that some school or another had an offer to swap conferences made it seem inevitable that somewhere, some form of realignment bartering was going on behind closed doors. But Smith seems to indicate that isn't the case: that right now, the Big Ten is focused on ensuring Rutgers and Maryland join the league smoothly:
"I think you're going to have all types of rumors about us and the Big 12," Smith said. "We're not doing anything right now. We'll sit and evaluate Rutgers' and Maryland's transition. We don't want to screw that up. Right now we're not aggressively pursuing anyone."
Smith didn't rule out that the league will some day look to turn into a superconference with 16 or more teams, but he did say that it isn't something the league actively talks about: he says each new school the league looks at would merit its own decision on a school-by-school basis, rather than trying to boost numbers to get to 20 schools.
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