Leading off: Division Names

Hello! This is the first blog of the Legends and Leaders Ledger and I appreciate you stopping by to check it out. With that said, I would like to explain the title of my blog and my feelings about it. Legends and Leaders are the two names of the new divisions of the Big Ten conference. My feelings about those names…WHY? Why are those names of the divisions? Delany (Jim Delany, Big Ten Commissioner) couldn’t come up with anything better? He said in an interview with ESPN:

“The Legends, not too hard in that we have 215 College Football Hall of Fame members, we have 15 Heisman Trophy winners ... We thought it made perfect sense to recognize the iconic and the legendary through the naming of the division in that regard…”

Fair enough, but with that logic why are Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin left out of the Legends division? When was the last time Indiana was a leader in football? Purdue hasn’t entered the conversation as a leader since Kyle Orton fumbled against Wisconsin in 2004. Illinois, a 2008 Rose Bowl is nice, but come on. Why not go with east and west divisions? It’s so simple: just make the dividing line the border between Illinois and Indiana. Oh wait, no can do; for good reason though. Who really wants Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State in the same division? Also, with that logic you couldn’t have OSU and Michigan in the Big Ten championship game, which is the matchup everybody wants. If you’re excited about the alignment because of a potential Northwestern and Illinois championship match, I’m sorry.

We could go round and round with this talk all day. Technical stuff aside, they’ve got the groups of teams for each division correct. Some rivalries are inter and intra divisional, the power teams are pretty evenly spread…not a bad job. But again, why Legends and Leaders? The new names of the annual awards at the end of the season aren’t terrible. If you can name the coach-of-the-year award after Woody and Bo; why not the divisions? The names Woody and Bo may not represent all teams in each division, but neither does legends and leaders.

As I continue to think about these arbitrary names however, I’m inclined to say that Delany got it right. If you can’t do east and west or north and south, you’re basically stuck. As much as I and other fans dislike the Legends and Leaders name I still haven’t heard of reasonable replacements, at least for now. Better ideas, anyone?

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  • I have no other logical ideas for the divison names but I dislike them as well. It may sacrilege to even suggest this; but Michigan/OSU should be moved to the first conference game. It would be a shame for The Game a week earlier to be a glorifed scrimmage of two teams that have clinched their respective divisions trying to stay healthy for week.

  • In reply to Scott in Indy:

    Scott: Couldn’t agree more…Well, I would suggest a game in the middle of the season so there could still be some build up to it, like OU and Texas. Late October I think would be perfect. I can’t wait until both of those teams are at the top again to get that rivalry back in the limelight.

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