Legends and Leaders … your thoughts

The Big Ten announced today it will name its football divisions “Legends” and “Leaders.”

Indiana is in the “Leaders” division.

Thoughts? As stupid as I am thinking? A plot by Jim Delaney to get the other 10 Big Ten schools to agree to Schembechler and Hayes?

The comments are yours.

UPDATE, 3:36 p.m.: Dustin Dopirak here. Hugh and I apparently decided to post Big Ten blogs at the exact same time. I’m taking mine down, but I thought you guys might want to see the AP story just in case you’re wondering about Delany’s justification. Again, have at it. 

COLUMBUS, Ohio — When the Big Ten plays its first conference championship game next season, it’ll be the Leaders division against the Legends division.

The conference, expanding to 12 teams in all sports and adding divisions and a championship game in football starting next season, on Monday also unveiled a new logo and 18 football awards, each named after two standout Big Ten performers.

“The Legends, not too hard in that we have 215 College Football Hall of Fame members, we have 15 Heisman Trophy winners,” Commissioner Jim Delany said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. “We thought it made perfect sense to recognize the iconic and the legendary through the naming of the division in that regard. … We’ve had plenty of leaders in the conference, that’s for sure, but the emphasis here is to recognize the mission of using intercollegiate athletics and higher education to build future leaders.”

With Nebraska becoming the conference’s 12th team next year, the conference created new divisions that it introduced in September. Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin will be in the Leaders Division, with Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern in the Legends Division.

Delany said the conference had considered naming the divisions after coaches, players, commissioners and faculty but it was too difficult to single out just two. It also disdained from going with compass points since geography had been only the third consideration when the conference announced the divisional setup three months ago. In order, the main factors were competitive balance, maintaining rivalries, and then geography.

Asked if Leaders and Legends was too bland, or not unique to the Big Ten, Delany responded, “All of these things will engender discussion. We want to engage our fans. All I can tell you is that we thought long and hard about what not to do. We thought harder about what to do.”

The logo is a block “Big Ten” which includes an homage to the original 10 members with those numerals embedded in the last two letters of the word Big.

The design firm Pentagram came up with the new logo. And, no, the conference never seriously considered putting a 12 in its logo or changing its well-known brand name to include the number of members today.

“There will be people who would want us to be digitally correct with our name and our number, but I think we have 100-percent support of the people who have responsibility for these programs — in fact, it was a presidential directive — that we maintain our name,” Delany said.

The conference also introduced 18 new football awards which will be presented starting in 2011 with the advent of divisional play and Nebraska joining the fold.

The awards include the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy, presented to the winner of the conference title game, an offensive player of the year award honoring Otto Graham and Eddie George and a defensive trophy which will honor Bronko Nagurski and Charles Woodson. The Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year trophy will also be introduced next season.


  1. Wow they really paid someone to do that. Legends and Leaders hmmmmmm can’t say this inspires me , nope.

  2. I hate these names and I hate the new logo even more. I mean they’re both generic and cheap-looking/sounding. 16guards, I totally agree with you, I wanted ‘Lakes and Rivers’ or ‘Lakes and Plains.’ Putting the ‘Great’ in front of each is a good twist I hadn’t thought of.

    I live down here in SEC country, where Big Ten-bashing is a form of recreation, and adding Nebraska had given me some traction against that attitude. These stupid names and stencil-pattern logo will more than offset that. Surely if enough people gripe forcefully enough, they’ll change them.

  3. Hell I like both division names and the logo too. I go back a long way and remember a lot of the legends. During previous decades they were leaders before they became legends. This conference is about people more than geography. As we include additional teams into the conference the B10 map will only get bigger.

  4. Clarion, this is one of the few times I’ve disagreed with you. I just think both the names and logo are generic, look like they were done quickly and cheaply (logo) and say nothing specific about the Big Ten Conference. While I agree that the league is more about people than geography, it’s also true that the two major geographic features in the footprint are the Great Lakes and Great Plains. Hence that suggestion from 16guards and myself.

    I will, in the interest of fairness, look away from this for a while, allow it to sink in, and revisit it later.

  5. Stupid stupid stupid. The logo is just awful. I love the one we currently have. I think of “Dungeons and Dragons” everytime I hear “Legends and Leaders”. It rolls off the tongue exactly the same.

  6. Horrendous! With decisions like this Jim Delaney will be running the NCAA in no time!

    Why not just name the divisions Shirts and Skins?

  7. Maybe there will be a Knight/Lambert division(s) in hoop.
    How about a Glenn Rice/Calbert Chaney OMVP. This is reaching just a little bit too me. But, thats why I don’t have a say in such matters.

  8. Boycott these stupid names/ horrendous logo. Unbelievable that the Big Ten actually paid money and get the equivalent results of a 4th grade project.

  9. How did I know that Clarion would be the only one on here that likes the division names and the logo?

  10. Ridiculous.. Juvenile….Boring…..Corny….silly….
    Stupid….embarrasing……confusing…..ugly…………………………………………………………………………….fill in the blank. Just plain dumb

  11. The division names are ridiculous….. Wow! What a joke!

    The logo is a joke, too. To me it plays off the old Big East Logo that used to look very similar.

    Trophies? Why not add a couple dozen more just for participation! LOL As a Bears fan, the linebacker trophy has a glaring problem! Legendary Dick Butkus, understandable, but…… get ready for it…..Pat Fitzgerald?!?!?!?! WTF??????? Wow! The QB trophy names, both Purdue….Griese and Brees??? What??? No Tom Brady????? Last I checked he’s won 3 out of 4 SB’s and is the only QB to play during Manning’s tenure that has rivaled him and is much better, in my opinion. Good lord……

  12. Horrible. Terrible. “Legends and Leaders” sounds like a godawful sportsbar in Nowheresville. I mean whoever sold the Big Ten on that name should be given a raise, or asked to build a monorail in Springfield. Pathetic

  13. This is what happens when people in an organization (and it happens all the time in ‘Big Business’) only talk among themselves. I think that even focus groups would have been wondering whether they were being “punked” when presented with this. These two designations are at first laughable but then aggravating when you realize that you have to deal with these names for at least 2 to 5 years. After that period of time, hopefully the people who are invested in these titles will be gone and folks who have some sense of history (or at least sense) will come up with names that avoid the “cringe” factor.

  14. Those names are very lame, like they’d use a management retreat. Name the divisions after the two biggest boosters in the Big 10, er,11 or, How many teams are in this league?

  15. Actually I figured it would be you or our friend Jimmy, but Jimmy hasn’t been posting very often. 🙂

  16. Changing the subject here.
    Whats the word on this Kelvin Amayo kid? His videos look pretty good. Strong kid with some hop. Anybody with credible news ? We need a point guard ! Not two years from now.

  17. It was funny to hear the guys on ESPN bash both the names and logo. One even asked if it was final or hopefully just a test run. Hopefully the message will get through to the powers that be and we can get these horrible names and log changed, and quickly. I can see the coach of the year trophy being named after both Woody and Bo, but did we need to name EVERY trophy after 2 people? Just seems pointless to me.

  18. legends and leaders? sounds like a generic golf tournament.

    the pigskin and gridiron divisions would have been better and even that is a bit generic.

    the norris division sounds good…

    the new logo sucks (can I say that?). the old one with an eleven in it was better.

    too bad Ohio State and IU are in the same division; if they were in different ones, they could call the one with Ohio State division one and the one with IU, division two…

  19. at first I really did not have an opinion on all of this but as it has sunk in…it it just weird/strange, the legends and leaders thing. The logo is very generic looking…my 4 yer old could have done better!

  20. Mike P.,

    Jimmy? Sorry to say I don’t recollect him. I only marveled that my opinion in your eyes was more humorous/ important than the blog topic.
    The commissioners goal could be to create a revenue raising opportunity by attaching chains to the words BigTen-Legends & Leaders for key chains, watch fobs as well as printed decals and thousands sent to every school in north central U.S. for their fund raising use.

  21. Anybody know the best way to contact the commissioner or at least the conference offices and protest? Surely if enough people ridicule this, they’ll reconsider.

  22. I like the new divisions names the Big Ten has had leaders come out after they have been done with their sport. OH my there are legends to many to count. I see it as the history of the big ten and now that you add an Nebraska to that it just adds more to it. We didnt like it when Penn State was in but we have to look it as a whole conference and with the history and future of it. It going to be a conference that will be fun to watch.

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