Blog Entry

Dungeons, Dragons and Big Ten divisions

Posted on: December 13, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2010 6:05 pm

The new Big Ten has 12 teams and will start every season with two Ls.

If this has you confused, it's meant to in the new Large Dozen. The Big Ten made a big deal Monday out of revealing the names of its two six-team divisions. Then it underwhelmed us. The divisions are named Leaders and Legends. Not to be confused with Dungeons and Dragons or Abbott and Costello.

Leaders Division:  Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin

Legends Division:  Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern

"There's nothing, maybe, like it out there," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said.

That's certainly true. With all the great history and tradition available to it, the haughty Big Ten went low brow, corporate, generic. Leaders and Legends? That's the name of the trophy store down the street. What were "Gods" and "Superheroes" already taken? One thing for sure: The league won't be getting any cease and desist letters from famous people unless it's this guy. Sign ups are now being taken for summer school classes just to memorize the members of each division.

"Maybe if people don't embrace it in the first hour," Delany said, "they will in the first 24 or 36."

It's likely to take longer, if ever. If you're like me you're already wondering how the league promotes a Leaders Division showdown between Purdue and Indiana. It also prompts the question: Are the Leaders not legends and the Legends not leaders? And the alliteration thing is about as clever as a handoff to Archie Griffin. Delany was asked if the "two Ls" thing won't be associated with losses.

"You're the first one who has mentioned it," Delany said.

Apparently the commish wasn't on Twitter Monday which blew up with general mockery and disgust. A firm no doubt got six figures to "consult" on the division names and new logo. You'll love that when you see it. The league was cute with its embedded "11" in the old logo. In the new one, the "I" in "Big" has turned into "1". The "G" is meant to kind of simulate a "0". Maybe, but the "G" also looks like a "6". The league might be sending us a Da Vinci Code message on its future expansion plans.

"Now that you mention it ...," Delany said of a possible interpretation of "Big 16" in the new logo.

What is this a trademark or an M.C. Escher print?

All those names, all those (lower-case) legends and the league completely blew it. Schembechler and Hayes divisions would have been perfect. If Delany was worried about favoring individuals, then consider none of what went on Monday would have been possible without Bo and Woody enhancing the brand.

Instead the league used some of those people names for its conference awards, hyphenating them to get as many leaders and legends into the mix as possible. That makes the league's major awards look like chick-flick characters from your basic Lifetime movie. Who can forget Meredith Baxter-Birney playing Colleen Stagg-Paterno in "Looking For Love in Iowa City"?

My take on the subject wouldn't be complete without a list of suggested division names from myself and Twitter followers earlier on Monday. We got your generic right here.


Since: Oct 26, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2010 5:24 pm

Dungeons, Dragons and Big Ten divisions

m' morron!!!!!!!! Other than the top three, who else can be considered a Legend? Leader?!?!?! Smoke some more dope and leave the football talk to other people. In other words, sit down and let the men talk Sally, or go back to the kitchen!

Since: Aug 18, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2010 3:27 pm

Dungeons, Dragons and Big Ten divisions

Should be called the Devaney and Osborne divisions.

Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2010 3:07 pm

Dungeons, Dragons and Big Ten divisions

If the SEC is aligned geographically, why is Kentucky in the east when its western boundry is further west than the entire state of Alabama (which is in the west division)?

Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2010 3:03 pm

Dungeons, Dragons and Big Ten divisions

I think the SEC should follow and get rid of the boring east/west names.  Perhaps "Cheaters" and "Felons" or "Grits" and "Cheese Grits" would work.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2010 3:02 pm

Dungeons, Dragons and Big Ten divisions

Well, I like everything but losing the Big Ten name. That has to stay. Although it is hilarious that the Big 12 has ten teams and the Big 10 has 12.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2010 2:55 pm

Dungeons, Dragons and Big Ten divisions

 - your plan is 5,000 times better than what we were given. The Big Ten is somehow failing to recognize that leagues generally align geographically for the good of the fan. It's easier to cultivate and maintain a rivalry with those teams closest to you, not a team that falls into some absurd competitive tiering structure.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2010 2:51 pm

Dungeons, Dragons and Big Ten divisions

Just a wretched, wretched naming convention. First, how can you have a "legends" conference that includes Northwestern and excludes Ohio State and Penn State? Second, Big Ten Nework honk Jerry DiNardo was on the radio this morning and explained that they used these wretched names because they are not aligned geographically like every other sport at every other level in the universe. They're aligned competitively or something, as if that is supposed to make sense to anyone. It doesn't. The divisions make no sense and the names are even worse..and their new logo? Awful.

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:59 am

Dungeons, Dragons and Big Ten divisions

9 game schedules, schedule a BCS appoint to recipracate the odd years. For example : Michigan plyas four away games in on season , while Michigan State plays five, ... So Notre Dame goes to MSU that year and Michigan goes to Notre Dame.  Every year five road games, for everyone in the conference.

Sown side is that thoughs who play Notre Dame probably wont play anyone from another BCS that season.

Maybe cut notre dame down alittle, Michigan plays the first two years and MSU plays another BCS opponent in those years and then they reverse and Michigan State plays a series with Notre Dame and Michigan plays another BCS opponent.

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:53 am

Dungeons, Dragons and Big Ten divisions

Im ashamed of the Big Ten.

It should be:

Called the Northland conference or Big North or something without numbers!!

WEST division:  Illinois-Northwestern, Wisconsin-Minnesota, and Iowa- Nebraska
EAST division:  Michigan-Michigan State, Purdue-Indiana, and Ohio State Penn State

FIRST Cross over games
Ohio State - Iowa
Penn State - Nebraska
Michigan - Minnesota
Michigan State - Wisconsin
Indiana - Illinois
Purdue - Northwestern

SECOND Cross over games
Ohio State - Wisconsin
Penn State - Iowa
Michigan - Nebraska
Michigan State - Minnesota
Indiana - Northwestern
Purdue - Illinois

Conference Championship in Chicago Every year!!! Its the Midwests biggest city by far!!

Change the name of some of the trophies:
the confrence champion gets the Northland Crown of Rose's.
the coach of the year gets the ... Northland Coach of the year award.
the MVP of the year gets the ... Northland player of the year trophy

The six money makers play divided into two divisions, every year a money maker plays at least four others, to assure big games and lots of money. Im aware Illinois, Michigan State, Purdue, and Northwestern have had very good teams in the past but I put them in the lower spots in the conference.

What do you think?

Since: Dec 14, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:18 am

Dungeons, Dragons and Big Ten divisions

They really missed an opportunity to tell the country what the Big Ten is all about. Here are suggestions for better names:

Power I and Smashmouth

Money Grab and Corporate Sellout

Boring and Predictable

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or