83 thoughts on “Leading the Legend of Ron Burgundy-Zelda Trophy Division

  1. jj

    Thanks dude. I was afraid you were gonna try to tell us how cool this all was. After giving it some time, per big jim’s advice, I honestly like it less.


  2. Sportsman

    How could we hit such a HR in getting UNL, but three Ks (w/o swinging) on the names of the divisions & trophies and the design of the logo?


    1. Playoffs Now

      How could we hit such a HR in getting UNL, but three Ks (w/o swinging) on the names of the divisions & trophies and the design of the logo?

      Perhaps because Nebraska was smart enough to approach the conference? If not, would Delany have gone 0 for 4?


    1. Bullet

      As he retires, Delaney will have an underling (obviously all of them are too afraid to tell the emperor he has no clothes) suggest changing the reviled division names to Delaney-Leader and Woody & Bo, Joe & Tom-Legend.


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    1. Well Played Mauer

      just fyi,
      anyone trying the link in my post above may have to cut and past. The site seems not to like the hot link, but the photo is there. I promise.


      1. footballnut

        Nice to know that B10 folks actually realize how stupid everyone else thinks of this…from a B12 fan.

        You would think that Delany and the B10 prezdents would float it out first and say..hey, what y’all think of this’n?

        Nope. OOps.


    2. 84Lion

      I remember seeing that one and thinking it looked rather bad, mostly because of the mixing of block letters and curved numbers as noted. However, the “real” Big Ten logo actually makes that fan-designed one look pretty good.

      I was hoping they’d pick “Alpha” and “Omega” as division names, which I thought was pretty cool (imagine the CCG intro: “Welcome to the battle of Alpha and Omega…”).

      Ah well, at least we’ve got Nebraska. Can’t hit home runs all the time.


  4. StvInIL

    Both the logo and the divisional names are the lame. There are something’s that are well worth waiting for. But these last two decisions were the work of one lazy moron. Hence not worth the wait. I hope that Mr. Delaney takes these two ideas back to the drawing board. Anyone visiting this board could have done something more meaningful and more attractive.


  5. Michael in Indy

    It’ll be interesting to see if the Big 12 renames itself, and if so, what it will be called. I definitely think they should go with a new name. It’s not as much about the misnomer numerically; the “Big Ten,” in my opinion, is a brand of success and progress and shouldn’t change. The “Big 12,” by contrast, carries the stigma of losing two schools to other leagues.

    “Southwest Conference” would make no sense. Who are we kidding? It would be an extreme stretch to call State College, Pa. a “Midwestern” town; it would be a flat-out lie to call Ames, Iowa or Columbia, Mo. “Southwest.”

    Heartland Conference might work. Central, Big Central, Great Central, etc. might work well, too.


    1. Tim W

      Ehh personally I like “Southwest Conference”.

      What conference name is completely accurate these days? That name conjures up the good ole days and might resonate with the fans.

      Besides it fits in the grand scheme of things well.

      Big Ten
      Big East
      Atlantic Coast Conference
      Pacific Coast Conference
      Southeastern Conference
      Southwestern Conference

      Done. Everybody wins. “Leaders” and “Legends” for all! 8)


      1. Michael in Indy

        Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference are perfectly accurate. To say otherwise would be splitting hairs. It’s true than none of the ACC schools are literally on the coast itself, but they’re within a few hours’ drive at the most. As for SEC schools, there’s absolutely no question whether any of those 12 schools can be accurately described as part of the Southeast.

        TCU, DePaul, Marquette, Notre Dame, Louisville, & Cincinnati joined a league with a pre-existing name, which just didn’t happen to fit their geography. That was no reason to change the name “Big East.” But changing the inaccurate name “Big 12” to the name “Southwest Conference” would still be inaccurate for 40% of the membership. Kansas, K-State, Iowa State, and Missouri had no ties to the original SWC whatsoever.

        Other than “Central,” it’s hard to come up with a geographic theme for a league stretching from Ames to Austin, but how about “Frontier Conference?” “Frontier” refers to the furthest extent of influence for a country. “Frontier” also highlights the region’s common history in spite of the relatively short relationship between the former Big 8 schools (especially the former Big 12 North schools) and the Texas schools. Finding common ground, other than the shared need for a good TV contract and a scheduling arrangement, is very important, so any new name should be chosen wisely. (We don’t need another Legends & Leaders situation.)

        The name “Frontier Conference” would be a lot like the Colonial Athletic Association, a D-1 basketball league that covers roughly the same territory as the ACC, with schools from Boston to Atlanta. That name is accurate because the schools belong to states which were former English colonies.


          1. Bullet

            Probably not as much of a stretch as Southwest. College Station and Austin aren’t really in the Great Plains, but Waco is kind of at the edge. The great buffalo herds went as far south as Houston. If any of you Illini at the bowl game wonder about Buffalo Bayou in Houston, yes, that’s how it got its name.


          2. Adam

            It has “Great” in the name, which is almost sorta like a play on words with so many other leagues having “Big” in their name (i.e., could be a lame double entendre, construed either as “Conference of the Great Plains” or “Great Conference of the Plains”).


          3. Michael in Indy


            How about the Frontier Athletic Conference, Frontier Collegiate Conference, or Frontier Athletic Association?

            FCC & FAA would go well with SEC since it would be a gov’t agency acronym.


        1. Adam

          Didn’t you hear? Economic and cultural ties don’t matter when you’re doing these things! That’s so 20th century! All that matters is profit maximization and/or “competitive balance.” The fact that you cannot divine a sensible label for the group is a sign of its strength, not a weakness! It means that the leadership is not tied down to hidebound anachronisms like geography and rivalries.


          1. Brian


            You are the only person I’ve seen who is actively against the concept of competitive balance.

            The Big Ten is split northwest/southeast (only WI/NW is wrong) as well as the SEC is split east/west (Auburn is east of Vandy), and got their desired competitive balance. The Big Ten is silly to ignore the obvious geographical split and just name the divisions that way, but oh well.

            The alignment is not ideal, but no alignment could please everybody. The fact the ADs preferred this alignment, and many fans have since concurred, suggests there were sound reasons for the decision.


          2. Adam

            It is not that I am actively against the concept; it’s that I think it shouldn’t be pursued. The suggestion with that language is that I do have an eye toward competitive balance and I’m looking to create the most imbalanced alignment possible. False. Balance is nice to have, but it should not be managed. You’d rather have it than not, but you don’t go looking for it. If you find it along the way, great; if not, you make do with what you have. Be who and what you are. The Big Ten’s chase of “balance” was a leading indicator of the league office’s subsequent series of ridiculous decisions which are apparently calculated to advertise that the distinguished air that the league and its membership have cultivated over the years is mostly just the affectations of poseurs.


          3. Brian


            I fail to see how any one divisional alignment let’s you “be who and what you are” more than any other. You treat balance as a trivial part of a conference when history says you are wrong.

            Unbalanced leagues are mocked and paid less attention. That has a direct negative impact with the BCS system that is based on personal opinions of teams.

            You advocate the Big Ten actively deciding to harm itself for no real net gain that I can see. Splitting the teams so a 5 year old can figure it out is not more important than splitting the teams well. Balanced divisions lead to competitive championship games which lead to more national interest and an improved reputation for the league, which helps in the BCS.

            Changing divisions every 5 years to chase balance would fit your description of a bad choice, but making the attempt in the initial split is the obvious thing to do.

            Even most KISS advocates agreed with that, but argued that KISS did in fact provide good balance. The numbers weren’t on their side, but a reasonable argument was made. You seem to just ignore balance as beneath you, but I’ve seen no evidence of what greater good was to be achieved by ignoring balance.


          4. Adam

            Bill James made the very persuasive argument that the baseball playoffs are more interesting and exciting (and profitable) than the basketball playoffs, because in basketball the best team basically always wins, whereas that is not the case in baseball. A significant component of the interest in sports entertainment generally is uncertainty — especially as extended over a lengthy period of time. A “balanced” alignment doesn’t necessarily provide this: if there are 4 “good teams” in the league, and they’re split 2 and 2, then the championship game participants will basically come down to the winners of those head-to-head contests. Nice and balanced, but not a very interesting regular season. An “imbalanced” alignment (say, 3-and-1) is much more exciting, because the unfairness of 3 teams on the one side of the alignment sharpens the importance of the divisional race. Which is not to say you should intentionally make it imbalanced either; you should just adopt some other governing logic and abide by the results, whatever they are. This is, incidentally, the basic logic behind the anti-wild card argument in baseball: by expanding the number of wild cards and making the playoffs “fairer” (i.e., the 95-win team that finished 3rd in its division doesn’t get excluded in favor of the 84-win team that won its crummy division), you reduce the intensity of the divisional races. Nobody would argue that you should go out of your way to set up imbalanced baseball divisions, but the divisions are what they are, and the argument against additional wild cards is almost universally accepted among hard-core baseball people.

            An “imbalanced” alignment can be just as, if not more, exciting as a “balanced” alignment. And I certainly don’t care if we’re “mocked” elsewhere. Not only are we mocked anyway, it doesn’t matter. We have the huge schools and passionate fan bases everybody else wants. We can dictate the terms. We have absolutely no need to respond to anybody else’s expectations.

            I’d rather have an interesting regular season (which lasts 12 weeks) than an interesting championship game (which is 1 game) any day of the week. Who cares if it’s a walkover? The journey to the game is far more important than the title game itself. A large number of Super Bowls have been walk-overs, but that hasn’t impacted the interest in/popularity for the game. Chasing balance and a competitive title game isn’t worth sacrificing the rivalries and jockeying for position in the divisional standings that make the 12-week regular season interesting.


          5. Adam

            Plus (one other thing I’d note), the concept of chasing balance itself smacks of a managed outcome. As I noted, the principle attraction of sports as entertainment is uncertainty. Anything that smells like a managed outcome is something I would strenuously resist. It risks killing the goose laying the golden eggs.


          6. Brian


            All multi-game playoffs are boring. Perhaps because I hate MLB and the NBA, perhaps because they take 2 weeks per series. The better team should win in the playoffs. That is the whole point. The intrigue comes form finding out who is the better team, with the occasional true upset.

            In CFB the division races will come down to much more than the head-to-head games among the top teams. Most/all of the other teams are capable of winning on any given Saturday. Both divisions stay interesting all season, especially with the big games the last week (OSU/MI, NE/IA, PSU/WI).

            A 3/1 split would make one team dominant while the other three split titles. That is especially bad when the one is the brand new member and suddenly they start to dominate. It also punishes the other 3 teams in the stacked division as their chances for that one great season are reduced greatly.

            Even you admit you shouldn’t intentionally make poorly balanced divisions, but that is exactly what you do when you ignore balance and choose some random criteria like geography as a dividing principle. You make a decision to prioritize something else over balance. However, you have made no argument what this other thing should be and why that would be better.

            The best I can tell you live in a different world from everyone else. A lack of balance is exciting, outside opinions don’t matter in a system based on polls, and the quality of the championship game is unimportant.

            The only rivalry affected by the chosen divisions was WI/IA, and it will still be played 2 out of 5 years (or more often if they go to 9 conference games). In return WI gets PSU and OSU every year and the easiest schedule among the top 6 by getting IN, IL and MN every year. IA gets NE and MI every year.

            The league gets good games in the divisions and between divisions among the big four (and the top 6), balance among the schedules for the top teams, exciting divisions races in both divisions and a competitive championship game. All of this makes more money and improves the league’s image, which helps in the BCS and makes more money.

            I hope you enjoy living in your world where the WI/IA rivalry is more important than the health of the conference and the other teams individually. I have no intention of joining you there as it is not connected to reality as I know it.

            I see no point in trying to explain this to you further. You are set in your opinion and no amount of reason will sway you, and you have yet to show any reason to sway me.


          7. Adam

            you shouldn’t intentionally make poorly balanced divisions, but that is exactly what you do when you ignore balance and choose some random criteria like geography as a dividing principle.

            False. Intentionally doing something and disregarding something are completely different things. If I intentionally install a tiger pit in the midst of the walk leading up to my front door, that is a different sort of culpability than if I disregard the gaping crack split through it from the nearby tree roots. One requires affirmative action and the other does not. And I do not argue that the league should affirmatively aim for “imbalanced” divisions — only that balance should not be considered at all. The league shouldn’t go digging a tiger pit, but if the sidewalk splits because of a tree root, let natural weathering even things out over time.

            This, of course, presumes that the strength of the teams can be accurately measured and “balance” achieved, which I deny. But even if it could, as I say, I resent managed outcomes. No sport has any interest to me unless everybody is starting from scratch every year. But when the alignment is designed with an eye toward the predicted relative competitive performances themselves, everybody isn’t starting from scratch. We’re manipulating who plays whom on a basis which I assert is impermissible and unsporting.

            It isn’t so much that a lack of balance is exciting as that it can be; not so much that the quality of the title game doesn’t matter as that it won’t necessarily matter. Since these things cannot be known with certainty, I am saying that the alignment should be driven by things that can be known with certainty. Columbus will always be located exactly where it is located. Wisconsin will always have a rivalry with Iowa. These things are unchanging — competitive dynamics are not.

            The only rivalry affected by the chosen divisions was WI/IA
            False. It doesn’t matter whether the game is played annually; what matters is whether the teams are jockeying for position in the standings against each other. An annual game played between inter-divisional opponents is no real rivalry at all. Thus has the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry been twisted out of all recognition. Thus has every other important rivalry that will be played across division lines.

            What attracted me about the Big Ten is that I thought it was a league, a group of schools, that cared more about these sorts of concerns than money — which is to say, they recognized that adhering to these things was more profitable in the long term than chasing after short-term profits, because it helps cultivate a perception that we are above that sort of pandering. But the absurd divisional lineup was just a leading indicator of the rabbit hole down which the league has fallen, with further evidence being the ridiculous division names; contrived trophy names; and atrocious “mark.”


          8. m (Ag)

            “The better team should win in the playoffs. That is the whole point.”

            No, the point of a tournament is to provide an exciting slate of games. It does not pick the best team.

            You see this in other sports all the time. Tennis tournaments on the same surface produce different winners despite being held just weeks apart. Around Europe, countries generally have round robin soccer seasons that happen at the same time as elimination tournaments. The winners of the round robin are often different from the winners of the elimination tournaments, and the round robin format is much better than an elimination tournament in determining the best team. Wild card teams often win in playoff systems, even against teams they lost to repeatedly in the regular season.

            Sports writers are generally awful analysts. They like to say the winners of tournaments (playoffs) are the best team. This is just lazy thinking, but it makes for easy sports articles.

            I watch the NFL and I enjoy the playoffs and the Super Bowl. However, I wouldn’t necessarily call the playoff winners as the teams that were the best for the year.


          9. Brian


            Playoff advocates seem to think that winning the playoff makes that team the best. I think playoffs commonly do not find the best team that year. That’s why I said the best team should win, not does win.


      2. duffman

        Tim W,

        Pacific Coast Conference is OUT!

        for those of us old enough to remember the PCC was the pre cursor to the Pac 10 (12). It was shut down due to the major crisis and scandal of the schools involved (like the SWC before it imploded). My guess is nobody will revive the name, much less the taint (especially as the Pac likes to think they never had such a fraud ridden history).


        1. Michael in Indy

          Speaking of conferences imploding, I’ve read a lot about the demise of the SWC, but not so much about the Big 8.

          Does anybody know the details about whether the Big 8 was having problems before its members merged with the four Texas schools? Why did the schools decide to create a new charter for the Big 12 instead of just treat it like an expansion? Why did OSU, OU, & Colorado vote to have the headquarters in Dallas and not in Kansas City, where the Big 8 offices were?

          Perhaps more importantly, why didn’t those 8 schools recognize that they were the ones in a position of strength, whereas the Texas schools were the ones in need of a home? It seems they could have at least dictated more of the terms for the new conference’s direction.

          Thanks to anyone who can fill me in!


          1. duffman


            I remember the old Big 8 pretty well. I think your question is an excellent one. How did the power become the junior partner. It is perplexing. The lesser children from the old Big 8 can not feel they have moved up in the world since the Big 12 formed. If I had to hazard a guess, it wold be the merger might have been influenced by the CCG.


          2. Abe Froman

            There was a lot of talk about Texas potentially going to about 3 different conferences back then too. I think the Big 8 felt that they had to given Texas a pretty sweet deal to make the catch.
            The worst mistake the Big 8 schools made was to give up their conference history, records, etc and brand the Big XII as a new conference.
            Nebraska was on the wrong end of some 11-1 votes in the early days. The other North schools made some decisions that I bet they regret now. What you have to remember is that Nebraska was really, really good back then. Texas was decent, not great. OU was bad. UNL was in the middle of a 5 year run in which they went 60-3.
            UNL also wanted to keep OU as an annual game. The Sooners did not want both UNL and Texas as annual conference games and chose Texas.
            Some have postulated that if UNL-OU had maintained their annual rivalry, there is no way that Nebraska joins the Big Ten. I have to agree. Tom Osborne couldn’t have moved to the Big Ten if it meant killing the UNL-OU rivalry.
            OU chose Texas, so Nebraska was free to chose the Big Ten 15 years later.


          3. Richard

            The Big8 had a weak hand because they had a relatively small population base. This wasn’t as big a problem before the ’90’s, because all the CFA schools shared TV revenues, but once conferences started negotiating their own TV deals, the BigTen, SEC, Pac10, and ACC (once it added FSU) were leaving the Big8 in the dust. Remember that Nebraska (with Devaney as AD) openly asked the BigTen for an invitation after PSU had gotten an invite back in the early ’90’s (
            http://www.omaha.com/article/20100703/SPORTS/707039799) so the Big8 knew it had to do something to remain relevant.


          4. m (Ag)

            The Big 8 wasn’t any stronger than the SWC. The 2 conferences had roughly equal populations, but even then you could see Texas was going to grow much faster. In the long run the SWC would have been more valuable than the Big 8.

            As others have said, Nebraska was looking at the Big 10 and Colorado was looking to the Pac 10. I’ve read several times over the years that Colorado was actually invited to join the Pac 10 shortly after the Big 12 was agreed to. Colorado decided it had already committed to the Big 12 and would see it through.

            The formation of the Big 12 was (and is) a marriage of convenience. The Texas schools ‘saved’ the Big 8 schools just as much as the Big 8 ‘saved’ the Texas schools.


          5. Bullet

            What I’ve heard (but have nothing other than internet discussion to verify) is that CU trustees voted by 1 vote to stay with the proposed Big 12 instead of the Pac 10. And two of the B12 voters terms expired shortly afterwards.

            Ever since, CU fans have been talking about the Pac 10 with the idea that the Pac 10 needed Texas to go along with them so they could get to 12. Its only with the emergence of Utah in the last 5 years that there has been anyone else the Pac was interested in.


        2. Bullet

          Both SWC and Big 8 were in trouble. The Big 8 didn’t have enough TV sets. Their contracts were falling behind. ACC and Big East(newly formed) were ahead of the SEC back then, and of course, the Big 10 had just gotten Penn St. Colorado was dreaming of the Pac even back then. OU and Ok. St. were discussing joining the SWC.


        3. Sportsman

          The Pacific Coast Conference has already been recycled. Per Wikipedia… “The name Pacific Coast Conference is now used by a San Diego area community college league established in 1982.”


    2. StvInIL

      Michael in Indy,
      “Big Ten” is an established brand name. There is no need then to remarket something else. From a marketing standpoint, and I am not in marketing, keeping the name is something that the conference did right. At almost 100 years old, it makes no sense to confuse anyone with some new made up name.


      1. Michael in Indy

        Of course the Big Ten doesn’t need to change its name. I’ve acknowledged that in several other posts. The Big 12, on the other hand, does need to rebrand.


  6. Playoffs Now

    One of the little nuggets the 30 for 30 film on SMU uncovered was actual footage of the Aggie pulling his sword on the SMU cheerleaders. I’ve never seen more than the newspaper snapshot, this clip is gold:


    1. Richard

      Any of the 3 are far, far, far better than what they actually came up with. Just shows you how badly Delany & company effed up. They should have ran a contest asking for submissions from students at BigTen schools; maybe put it to a vote of current students as well. I have faith that the students would have came up with better divisional names and logos (and done it cheaper).


      1. jj

        I dunno, I think the new Big Ten logo provides a contemporary identifying mark unifying 12 outstanding institutions. It conveys some elements from the past while simultaneously introducing new features. I think the new logo is fun and has something for everyone.


        1. Michael in Indy

          People keep talking about “elements from the past.” Is this logo similar to the one the Big Ten had pre-Penn State? I’ve been curious about what that one looked like but haven’t been able to find anything.


  7. StvInIL

    My thoughts are that the logo should have the 2 of the following attributes.


    Notice how the Pac 10 got an image of the mountains in there. That’s descriptive of the states in which they reside. Deserts and mountains are prominent landforms. Another prominent thing is the Pacific Ocean. If you look at their logo long enough you can even see parts of the mountain looking like ocean waves or a whitecap.

    The old Big Ten logo definitely had the clever thing going for it. I mean with the hidden eleven within the Big Ten text. That in itself was descriptive of these mostly public Ivy’s and one private Ivy type.

    It would be descriptive to get a map some great lakes in there somehow.

    I look at the new Big Ten logo and I don’t see anything particularly ATTRACTIVE.
    I look at the new Big Ten logo and I don’t see anything at all DISCRIPTIVE.
    I have stared at the new Big Ten logo and I don’t see anything CLEVER.
    I look at the new Big Ten logo and I see a guy that eats too many doughnuts. Thank you Mr. Rochak.

    New Big Ten Final grade –F.


    1. footballnut

      I think a great improvement on the new B10 logo would be to drop the bottom half and stay with just the top half.


      You have two words in one (clever)
      Simple, yet cool (attractive)
      Block letters/numbers (Descriptive of the blockheads who made it up)


      1. StvInIL

        Interesting but the clever part would be to signify 12, the true count of the conference membership.
        In B1G my perception is that “were are signifying your #1”. That may be too ego driven. I don’t know when the last time the conference actually one a National football championship anyway? And it’s the Pac 10 that has the lead on total number of NC in all sports I believe.


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