At today's Big Ten media day, Commissioner Jim Delany said that the conference agreed unanimously to keep playing an 8-game schedule. Previously, the conference had planned to expand to nine games, but that was not unanimous.
The now-canceled Pac-12 scheduling alliance was supposed to be in lieu of the ninth game, but Delany doesn't (yet) have another conference lined up. But he said that the schools now believe that better out-of-conference games would help improve the Big Ten's strength-of-schedule relative to other leagues.
I was never fond of playing a ninth conference game, because every year half the teams have the advantage of an extra home game. I would rather see a wider variety of opponents coming onto the schedule.
It would be interesting to know which A.D.'s changed their minds. I, for one, am pleased to have it stay at 8 games, but I know Brian is going to be unhappy.