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Big Ten agrees to go at least nine conference games

Though it’s been circulating through the rumor mill over the past several weeks, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany confirmed during conference meetings on Monday that his league would move to at least nine conference games, possibly even 10.

And this time he means it. The Big Ten approved a nine-game conference schedule in August 2011, but moved back to eight games.

Delany added that keeping an eight-game conference schedule is “not even on the table” right now.

Exactly when a nine or 10-game schedule will be put into place isn’t clear yet -- possibly 2015 or 2017 once Maryland and Rutgers have been added -- but an official decision should be coming later this spring.

“There’s real recognition that we now live in two regions of the country, and we want to make sure those are bound together as best we can, so more games [makes sense],” Delany said. “Eight games is not on the table. It’s nine or 10.”