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Looks Like We're Stuck With Legends and Leaders...

What do you know, I was wrong again. The Big Ten announced this morning that it will stick with the much maligned "Legends" and "Leaders" divisional cues through at least the 2011 season. And if you're wondering what ever happened with that "sustainability" survey, Big Ten chief communications officer Diane Dietz explains "We can't test them until we play a season...We can't know until we use them." You mean we can't make a change that 90 percent of fans within the conference footprint want until 100 percent of fans outside the conference footprint have an entire year to make fun of us? Awesome. Here's what I don't get. If the conference "never planned to change [the names] before the 2011 season," as the article suggests, why did Jim Delaney bother to tell WGN-Radio in Chicago that they could be re-evaluated after Jan. 1st? Why not just say after one season? Or better yet. Say nothing at all. Minnesota AD Joel Maturi found that out when he promised to make a "Tubby Smith-type hire," and ended up with Jerry Kill. Something tells me Jim Delaney is about to learn that lesson the hard way.

Commish Having Second Thoughts on Division Names

You can call the Big Ten powers that be a lot of things, but inaccessible isn't one of them. In a surprising turn of events, Commissioner Jim Delaney admitted during an interview with WGN Chicago that the division names released Monday "didn't connect" with "90 percent" of Big Ten fans, and that the conference might need to re-evaluate its decision in light of the negative response. Delaney says the conference will "revisit" the issue the first of the year after the dust has settled, and will assess at that time whether the Legends and Leaders names are "sustainable." They aren't. And although fans have every right to question how the conference ended up so far in the woods, give credit to our leaders for being willing to listen. As John Maxwell said, "A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them." This is the second time in the past six months the Commissioner's Office has been flooded with complaints -- the first was when Gene Smith and Dave Brandon hinted that the Ohio State/Michigan Game might be moved up to October -- and in both cases the administration has shown it can be reasonable. If you want my 10 cents on how to fix the problem, have Big Ten fans and alumni vote on the top 3 or 4 ideas for division names like we did a few days ago on this site. The conference can control which names end up on the ballot, and stage a runoff if there's no majority after the first round of voting. That way, no matter what, the new names will be accepted by most of the fans.

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