College sports is big business, and as overseer of a 14-school juggernaut, Delany is widely considered its most powerful exec. Big Ten revenue—$338 million in fiscal 2014—is sure to grow after this season, when the commish negotiates new multibillion-dollar TV contracts. Money pouring into Northwestern, U. of I., and other schools could rise by two-thirds, to about $44 million annually. What’s more, the Big Ten crushed the football playoff rankings at the end of 2015’s regular season, with three top-10 teams, the most of any conference. Take that, SEC!

Power Quote “It’s not terribly personal to me if I’m criticized.”