Because she is always busy serving as President at Michigan State I don't always see Lou Anna Simon as much as I would like to keep up with what's going on in her world. But I did talk to her Thursday. Some observations:
She has not visited yet with athletic director Mark Hollis regarding MSU's divisional hopes for football, now that Nebraska is joining the league in time for the 2011 football season. She has no idea whether MSU will play Nebraska in the first season or not. She also does not know if the MSU vs. Penn State season ending game will remain as is or not either. She has confidence in Hollis that he will represent the university's best interests at the Big Ten meetings to sort all of this out next month.
She does believe the name Big Ten will stand no matter how many schools are in the field eventually. She doesn't say it's 100 per cent certain but she thinks the branding of the name will keep it "Big Ten." She says the Big Ten's timetable for expansion still centers on 12 to 18 months as was originally announced leading me to believe that perhaps other schools could be invited to the field sometime next year if not beforehand.
She is satisfied with the outcome of the Tom Izzo story of course and obviously glad he is staying. She believes MSU has a good relationship with Izzo in many ways and does not seemed concerned that this issue of his future employment will be a further problem. And she wants a solid athletic department across the board just as her athletic director has stated in the past that's what he desires.