Big Ten blows call on division names

December 14, 2010
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I’m not sure who was in the room when the Big Ten honchos decided on calling the two divisions of the soon-to-be 12-school conference, Leaders and Legends. I’m sure that after those names were widely panned after Monday’s announcement, that few are standing up to have their attendance in that meeting or participation in that decision counted.

Thank goodness, the conference didn’t decide to change its name in the wake of luring Nebraska from the Big 12. Who knows what kind of moniker they would have landed on?

“All I can tell you is that we thought long and hard about what not to do,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany told reporters during a conference call Monday.

Then apparently after the Big Ten brain trust thought long and hard about what not to do, they went ahead and did it anyway.

I’m no sports marketing expert, but it seems some type of directional reference might have made more sense (though I understand the divisions were not chosen along directional lines), or at least some type of regional reference (i.e., Great Lakes Division).

Surely, naming the divisions after iconic coaches (or even players) would have been embraced to a larger degree, though picking which coaches might have caused a furor among Big Ten athletics directors.

How about a choice of colors? Black and Blue. OK, maybe Blue and White to refect the new conference logo. Heck, Lemon Lime Green and Tangerine Orange would make almost as much sense as Leaders and Legends.

But then again, I didn't finish at the top of my journalism school class. In fact, I don't even have a journalism degree. So maybe I'm missing something. Let's go to the tape.

“What we’ve tried to do here is not get stuck in the past but build off the past, to pivot off the past and recognize the past but also to think in new ways, in innovative ways and to move forward,” Delany said.

Translation please.

“We've tried to blend a recognition of where we’ve come from with the possibilities of continuing to aspire to build great lives for future leaders,” Delany added.

OK. Got it. Clear as mud.

 

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  • Wow
    Leaders and Legends? Did they ask some elementary kids what to name the divisions?
  • Big Flop?
    I always called the 11 member Big Ten, the "Bigger Ten." Now I have been calling the 12 team conference the "Biggest Ten."
    I suppose it's better than the Dirty Dozen?
  • Do Over
    Is it really too late to revisit these names? Sheesh.
  • Considerations
    Apparently, one thing that wasn't considered is the national reaction to these division titles. Can you imagine what those around the country think of this? And how much fun do you think ESPN will have with it for years to come (ie "They're not Legends, their non-Leaders)will become one of many common punchlines.

    Tony Kornheiser summed it up best: Should have called them "SEC Victims" and "Future SEC Victims"
  • Terrible
    At least the new logo sucks, along with the division names:

    http://www.bigten.org/
  • silly stuff
    "Ten Plus Two"

    making

    "Ten Plus Three" when another school is picked up.
  • Really?
    When I first saw the names listed, I thought it was a proposed idea, not the official decision of the names. Horrible decision. Left and Right or Up and Down would have been far more appropriate than legends and leaders. What ad agency was paid millions for the logo and these two names?
  • higher ed?
    It's difficult to believe that anyone involved in higher education could have come up with these division names. Seriously?!
  • Big Ten Divisions
    What the Big Ten is doing is a joke. It would have made perfect sense to have a Big Ten East of Penn State, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, and Michigan State. And also have a Big Ten West of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, and Nebraska. It would work geographically and be largely balanced, just like the Southeastern Conferenceâ??s divisions are aligned.

    http://philiptortora.blogspot.com/2010/12/new-big-ten-divisions-are-joke.html
  • Divisions
    Should these division names be a surprise to anyone? Delaney also doesn't think D-I football needs a playoff.
  • Leaders and Legends
    Who are these people and where do they come from. The Big Ten is probably a billion dollar brand and they can't hire a good marketing firm?
  • What's worse is that it's Carolina Blue
    That's what happens when you purposely try not to step on anyone's toes, you end up w dullsville. Name one division Cream and the other Crimson. GO IU!
  • Big Ten officials look like FOOLS
    I haven't heard one positive comment on the names of the two divisions. this is both hilarious and sad. Are the people behind this embarrassed, surprised, arrogant, ...etc??

    Who in their right mind thought of this and then didn't at least do some sort of market survey to see what the public thought. haha

    Heads and Tails, Stars and Stripes, White and Whole Grain, anything is better than what was picked.

    How much did they spend on the marketing company who came up with this? One question...with all the negative feedback and public humiliation, is there any chance they will rethink this and choose different names? Put up a contest on the BigTen website and choose the best answer. guarantee that would be a lot cheaper and you would get better ideas than what they came up with.
  • Really Bad
    The division names are really bad. I'm not real thrilled with the hyphenated names for all those trophies either.
  • Really Bad
    The division names are really bad. I'm not real thrilled with the hyphenated names for all those trophies either.

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