First off Jim, if you wanted to honor the history of the conference, you would stop trying like hell to recruit schools from the east coast. Heck if you really wanted to honor the conferences history you wouldn't be adding teams at all. Secondly, the legends and leaders? I see what you did there, its got alliteration, its kinda catchy if you say it thousands of times in your head... its cute. Here's the problem Jim... The big ten isn't cute. Never was, never will be. If you watch a big ten football game, its a bunch of corn fed Midwestern boys smacking each other around. You don't see these high flying west coast offenses in this neck of the woods, you don't see these 'sexy' running QB's. The Big Ten plays smashmouth football, basketball... heck even the baseball teams get after each other (see IU vs. Purdue for the conference championship last year). There is nothing cute about this conference. The Big Ten is about being tough. That's why Tom Brady got drafted in the 6th round of the draft, because Michigan didn't need to throw the ball, it was 3 yards and a cloud of dust. That's who the Big Ten is. Thirdly, What's wrong with the black and blue divisions, because that's how our boys look after the games. What's wrong with the lakes and the plains? That's where we're from (I know, I know, you're trying to fix that). Quit trying to be cute with a name, here's an idea ask the fans!
Now here are my suggestions to Mr. Delany:
I will agree I'm not a big fan of Black and Blue, as much as I know that that's how the conference rolls, I think that will get us as much crap as a conference as the current names did. I know Delany hates this name, but I really like the Lakes and Plains idea, while I realize it may be a little tough to pick who ends up where with those, the names are better than east/west or north/south in terms of how it breaks up the conference and it is a nice little touch on the region. A new school old school type of play could be interesting for breaking up the divisions something like the new guys (PSU, Neb, Md, and Rutgers) and the old farts. I can sit here and start rattling off a ton of sarcastic division names like the last one, but in all honesty, I'm not sure if there is another cute creative way that I can think of that would please Delany (that's not what they pay me for here at Purdue). But I will put forth the charge to the Big Ten officials, do the conference justice and don't try to be too cute or creative with it... cuz that's just not our style. Make it names that brings out the fight, the desire, the passion, the history of this conference, because nobody does sports like the big ten. Anyone who has watched a Big Ten basketball game knows it is near impossible to win on the road because every gym is a hostile environment. Anyone who has watched Big Ten football knows that size matters, and the games in the Big Ten are won in the trenches with scores in the 20-30's... not the 50's. There are a lot of legends in the conference, a lot of stories, a lot of trophies. They don't want to be honored by naming a division after them, they want to be honored by seeing the Big Ten playing for national titles, they want to be honored by not getting caught up in sanctions, by holding up the tradition that this conference has always had.
Thanks for reading,
-T.O. signing out