Revisiting the Big Ten's naming decision

May, 26, 2011
5/26/11
1:30
PM ET
Mathematics professors have to be shaking their heads at college football right now.

It's called tradition, fellas.

Nearly a year after the Big Ten announced it would keep its name despite the addition of a 12th member in Nebraska, the Big 12 announced earlier this week that its name will remain despite both Nebraska and Colorado departing the league. To recap, we've got a 12-team league calling itself the "Ten" and a 10-team league calling itself the "12."

At least the league formerly known as the Pac-10 appeased the math profs by changing its name to the Pac-12 as Colorado and Utah become members. As someone who grew up in Pac-10 country, the new name will take time to sink in. The Pac-10 brand still resonates with me.

And that's what this really comes down to: branding. The Big 12's rationale for keeping its name was very similar to the Big Ten's. The Big 12 feels its name, although relatively new, resonates in the sport. The Big Ten name, meanwhile, is steeped in tradition. While many of you suggested good alternatives after last June's Nebraska expansion, can you really imagine this group of teams being called anything other than the Big Ten?

I know a lot of you aren't pleased with Legends and Leaders, crossover pairings and other new features of the expanded Big Ten. But what about the name? How does it sit with you?

Commissioner Jim Delany was open to a name change when Penn State joined the conference, and he wouldn't have opposed a change this time around, either. But the Big Ten presidents and chancellors would have none of it.

"The Big Ten is the Big Ten regardless of the number," Delany said in August.

I tend to agree. The Big Ten name might not add up, but it makes sense.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?