The oldest conference is also America’s most powerful.

That, according to, proved to be true. The publication came out with its annual list of most powerful people in college sports, which was again led by B1G Commissioner Jim Delany.

Since he joined the conference in 1989, there’s no denying the immense impact Delany had on expanding the B1G and generating tens of millions of dollars for schools with the creation of the Big Ten Network. According to the panel, he had more of an impact on the current landscape of college sports than current NCAA President, Mark Emmert.

The panel was comprised of six college sports business experts, who voted on the top 25 using a two-part system on unnamed ballots. The candidates were judged based on quantitative metrics, sphere of influence and impact.

In total, six individuals with B1G ties cracked the top 25 (Kevin Plank is included because the Maryland graduate is its most recognizable donor). The SEC had the second largest representation in the top 25, but it was still only half of what the B1G totaled.

Here’s the list Forbes came up with:

  1. Jim Delany, B1G Commissioner
  2. Mark Emmert, NCAA President
  3. John Skipper, ESPN President
  4. Kevin White, Duke University Athletics Director
  5. Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Commissioner
  6. Greg Sankey, SEC Commissioner
  7. Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame University Athletics Director
  8. Larry Scott, Pac 12 Commissioner
  9. Gene Smith, Ohio State Athletics Director
  10. John Swafford, ACC Commissioner
  11. Burke Magnus, ESPN Senior Vice President of College Sports Programming
  12. Kevin Plank, Under Armour Founder/President 
  13. Jeff Long, University of Arkansas Athletics Director, Vice Chancellor
  14. Oliver Luck, NCAA Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs
  15. Nick Saban, Alabama Football Coach
  16. Phil Knight, Nike Founder/former CEO
  17. Urban Meyer, Ohio State Football Coach
  18. Jeffrey Kessler, Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP
  19. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Basketball Coach
  20. Val Ackerman, Big East Commissioner
  21. Jim Phillips, Northwestern Vice President for Athletics and Recreation
  22. Bill Hancock, College Football Playoff Executive Director
  23. Donald Remy, NCAA Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel
  24. Sandy Barbour, Penn State Athletics Director
  25. Jay Bilas, ESPN College Basketball Analyst