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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
3-point stance: Couldn't be less legendary

By Ivan Maisel

1. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany seemed to be crying out for help Monday in looking for new names for the Legends and Leaders Divisions. The names met with nearly universal disapproval when the conference announced them two years ago, and no one warmed up to them. They remain buzzwords with little meaning. Delany said he doesn’t want geographic names. He doesn’t want to use the names of former coaches. Look at it this way: if the new names flop, the league isn’t any worse off.

2. When a player like Cierre Wood leaves Notre Dame for the NFL draft, it is tempting to sigh and chastise what looks like a shortsighted decision. One more year of football, one more year of getting bigger and stronger, one more year of education -- all would seem to benefit a player projected to be a third-round pick in a league where the average career for a running back is three years or so. But all those long-view arguments are tough to accept when you have a student’s income and a one-year-old child.

3. A reader wrote me about the package that ran last month on college football dynasties and asked if the end of the dynasties shared a common theme. If so, it escapes me. Minnesota got stopped by World War II; Army, by a cheating scandal. Notre Dame self-imposed scholarship reductions. Alabama and Nebraska stopped dominating when their coaches retired. There’s also a simple truth: when rosters turn over every four seasons, maintaining excellence for more than one cycle is the stuff of, yes, dynasty.