The Big Ten Conference has confirmed that they will reconsider the names “Legends” and “Leaders” for their divisions, a change which could be made in anticipation of the 2014 football season. As reported by ESPN, this is prompted by the addition of Rutgers and Maryland, moving the conference to 14 teams, coupled with the Conference not being “tone deaf” to the laughing stock that the names have produced.
Right up there with Crystal Pepsi and the Arch Deluxe in terms of ideas gone wrong, the nationwide backlash regarding the Conference names grew even louder when the two biggest names within the conference — Penn State’s Joe Paterno and Ohio State’s Jim Tressel — were ousted for violating rules of varying degreees.
“I don’t take umbrage to negative reaction,” said Conference President Jim Delaney. “I don’t necessarily change when I hear it. I think on the other hand, we said we would test-market it, and we have for a couple of years. We have the opportunity to look at it again. I’m sure we will. Whether or not we change or not is to be determined. I don’t have any presumption that we’ll change on it, but that doesn’t mean we’re not looking at it.”
The Legends Division presently consists of Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern; the Leaders Division is Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin. When deciding on division names in December 2010, Delany said the Big Ten “didn’t have great options.”
Delany said in the next three to four months, his league would look at the Big Ten’s future bowl lineup, divisions, rivalries, branding and “a whole series of related issues.”