Leaders and Legends


Since shortly after Nebraska joined the Big Ten we knew that there would be two divisions. We also knew what teams were in each division. One thing that we didn’t know though was the name of each division. Today the names were announced at a press conference held at noon. Since I was snowed in with the authorities writing tickets for being on the road I had nothing better to do than to watch the press conference and then post about it. The announcement did not seem to go over too well through the few people I saw comment about it via the social networks. I think that over time people will get used to some of these ideas. After the Wrigley debacle though they had to be nervous about how the public would take this decision. No new rule changes were announced during the half hour show. So far all games next season will feature teams switching sids at the quarters and playing both ways.

The first order of business was to unveil the new Big Ten logo. The old logo said Big Ten, but had the number eleven embedded into it. The new logo does not have any number embedded into it at all. It looks a little weird, but anything new does. The joke will continue about the Big Ten though as the name does not change. A swap with the Big 12 did not happen. The G in the logo looks a lot like a six. Could that have been done in case four more teams are added in the future?

The next order of business was to show the new division names. Over the last few months a lot of speculation has gone on about what they would be. Would they use iconic coaches? What would the names be. As they were coming up to the announcement I thought that no matter what they said it really would be anticlimactic. After a seemingly long video before the announcement the named the divisions the Legends and the Leaders. Maybe it will grow on me, but right now I really don’t like the names. Something just sounds odd about them. I think that anything that they could have come up with would have been weird at first though. In a couple of years we won’t think anything of calling them the legends and the leaders. Hopefully Purdue will always be a leader in the Leader Division.

The first division (because Purdue is in it) is called the Leaders Division

  • Illinois Fighting Illini
  • Indiana Hoosiers
  • Ohio State Buckeyes
  • Penn State Nittany Lions
  • Purdue Boilermakers
  • Wisconsin Badgers

The second division is named the Legends Division

  • Iowa Hawkeyes
  • Michigan Wolverines
  • Michigan State Spartans
  • Minnesota Golden Gophers
  • Nebraska Cornhuskers
  • Northwestern Wildcats

As you can see our biggest rival (Iowa) is not in Purdue’s division. The Big Ten fixed that problem by making them our rivalry opponent that we will face every year. I really don’t understand Iowa being a rival. The game means a lot to me because I spent two years working in that state listening to them talk about how good they were. I enjoy nothing more than a good win over the Hawkeyes.

I think that no matter who is in the title game played at Lucas Oil Stadium next year I will have to be in the building. I like the idea of a conference title game, and the added publicity it brings to the conference. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I see Purdue play for a Big Ten Title.

Also announced was the creation of eighteen new trophies that will be given out next season. The trophies are named for someone from the past of each of the twelve schools. As long as the Big Ten has been around 18 people being selected is a small sample size. The names have to be big to make the list. I love the idea of Purdue having both names on the quarterback trophy. To save time I stole the list of the trophies right off the Big Ten website. Here are the new trophies that the Big Ten has come up with:

Championship Game Trophies
Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy Amos Alonzo Stagg, Chicago
Joe Paterno, Penn State
Grange-Griffin Championship Game MVP Harold Edward “Red” Grange, Illinois
Archie Griffin, Ohio State
Postgraduate Awards
Ford-Kinnick Leadership Award Gerald R. Ford, Michigan
Nile Kinnick, Iowa
Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award Tony Dungy, Minnesota
Anthony Thompson, Indiana
Annual Awards/Trophies
Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year Otto Graham, Northwestern
Eddie George, Ohio State
Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year Bronislau “Bronko” Nagurski, Minnesota
Charles Woodson, Michigan
Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year Wayne Woodrow “Woody” Hayes, Ohio State
Glenn Edward “Bo” Schembechler, Michigan
Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year Darrell Thompson, Minnesota
Antwaan Randle El, Indiana
Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year Dave Rimington, Nebraska
Orlando Pace, Ohio State
Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year Charles Aaron “Bubba” Smith, Michigan State
Courtney Brown, Penn State
Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year Bob Griese, Purdue
Drew Brees, Purdue
Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year Alan Ameche, Wisconsin
Ron Dayne, Wisconsin
Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year Jack Tatum, Ohio State
Rod Woodson, Purdue
Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year Dick Butkus, Illinois
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year Pat Richter, Wisconsin
Desmond Howard, Michigan
Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year Ted Kwalick, Penn State
Dallas Clark, Iowa
Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year Jim Bakken, Wisconsin
Morten Andersen, Michigan State
Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year Thomas Dwight “Dike” Eddleman, Illinois
Brandon Fields, Michigan State
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