Tuesday, December 14, 2010

BIg Ten Conference Makeover

I always defend the Big Ten whenever someone compares us to the SEC, Big 12 or Pac-10. But yesterday, there wasn't much for me to say.

The Big Ten released their new conference division names, names of their new trophies, and the new logo. Let's start with the least painful: the logo.

I mean, aside from the fact that it's horrendously boring and I was looking for a negative-space 12 to compliment the negative-space 11 we used to have... I guess it's fine. Considering the rest of makeover, it could clearly be significantly worse. I just can't believe someone got paid to make something my niece could have made with Microsoft Paint.

The Big Ten also unveiled eighteen new trophy names. In an attempt to please everyone, and I mean literally everyone, they hyphenated every single trophy name, to get 36 names in there. My opinion? Suck it up and pick the best. For example, the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year Award should clearly just have Schembechler's name on it...

Here is a list of all eighteen trophy names:
  • Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy
  • Grange-Griffin Championship Game MVP
  • Ford-Kinnick Leadership Award (named after Former President of the United States and Michigan football player, Gerald Ford)
  • Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award
  • Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year
  • Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year (named after Michigan great Charles Woodson)
  • Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (named after Michigan coaching legend Bo Schembechler)
  • Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year
  • Rimmington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year
  • Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year
  • Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year (named after current New Orleans Saints and former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees)
  • Ameche-Dane Running Back of the Year
  • Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year
  • Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year
  • Richter-Howard Reciever of the Year (named after Michigan Heisman winner and College GameDay Host Desmond Howard)
  • Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year
  • Bakkan-Anderson Kicker of the Year
  • Eddlemen-Fields Punter of the Year
Ohio State leads the pack with five recognitions, Michigan and Wisconsin both have four, and the rest of the teams have either three, two, or one; no one was left out.

So yeah, the logo is boring and the trophies show us bending over backwards to please the masses. But the real kicker are the division names and breakdowns:

Legends and Leaders. There are just so many things wrong with that I don't know where to start. They really should have done something like M's and I's together in one division and the rest in another if they were going to be that dumb. Who got paid to do this? Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney claims that "Legends" is a nod to the Big Ten's history and "Leaders" looks to the future. Cool. Why didn't we stick to East and West? I realize Wisconsin is out of place, but everyone could figure it out that they needed Ohio State and Michigan to be separate so they switched them. Big deal.

The light blue are the "Legends" and the navy blue are the "Leaders". So if you were really freaking out about the East and West, change Northwestern to a Leader and Wisconsin to a Legend. Bam. Done. You have East and West divisions, exactly. Looking at this map, I still think they could have called it East and West, no one is going to gripe about that. I just really think they went way overboard with this re-imaging bit, and I have a feeling it's one of those things that you can't get a re-do on. I'd love it if Delaney could see all of the #RejectedBigTenDivisionName tweets there are out there. Among them: Team Edward and Team Jacob, The Union and The Confederacy, and Bros and GDIs. Also something to point out, if Michigan athletes are the "Leaders and Best" - shouldn't they be in the Leaders division? Just saying...

All in all, I call it a Big Ten fail. I'm hoping that everyone can look past this (myself included) and next season goes off without a hitch... starting with a new coach in the Big House after the Gator Bowl.

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