CHICAGO » Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany can only hope that "Legends" and "Leaders" is an acquired taste.
Judging by the initial reaction to the league’s new division names, the public and media think they were served rotten eggs.
"If people don’t embrace it in the first hour, then maybe after 24-36 hours … or in a couple of years," Delany said. "Any time you have something new, it takes some getting used to."
The Big Ten yesterday unveiled new logos and announced the creation of 18 trophies for various awards in 2011, when Nebraska joins the league.
Let’s break it down by answering a few of our own questions:
So who’s in what division?
Legends: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern.
Leaders: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin.
Why on Earth were these names chosen?
Delany said the Big Ten looked at what leagues such as the NHL, NFL and Major League Baseball had done and then "looked at ourselves."
Geographical names such as "Great Lakes" and "Great Plains" would not have been accurate. Delany said league officials felt that names such as "Hayes" and "Schembechler" or "Grange" and "Griffin" would not have been "inclusive" to all 12 schools.
Did Delany sense that or did officials from any schools express that?
"We’ve been down that road before," Delany said. "The (Big Ten) icons created a lot of controversies on campuses. And when I’ve tried to develop a Big Ten-type Hall of Fame, (school officials) ask: ‘How many will I have? Who goes in first?’ I know us. I think what we did was right.
"Legends and Leaders could be seen as overly broad, but we wanted to connect to our past and the future."
The reaction has been …
Akin to announcing that a Nerf ball will be used for all future Big Ten football games.
According to an unscientific poll on ChicagoTribune.com, 6 percent believe Legends and Leaders "represent what the Big Ten is all about," and 94 percent say, "You have to be kidding … is this the best they can do?"
OK. And how about the logos?
They’re about as popular. Some likened the font to something from the Atari generation. Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star tweeted: "The Big Ten could have asked my 12-year-old son’s art class to come up with a logo and received much more bang for the buck. Wow."
The "I" in "BIG" is shaped like a "1" and the "G" looks like a zero. Delany said that’s an ode to the league’s past. You know, 10 teams, so "B10."
What else did the Big Ten announce?
Refreshingly commercial-free names for its Big Ten championship game trophies and annual awards.
The Big Ten title winner will receive the "Stagg-Paterno" trophy, named for Amos Alonzo Stagg and Joe Paterno. Red Grange and Archie Griffin have their names on the title game MVP’s trophy.
Miami introduces Golden
Al Golden’s plan when he took the Temple job five years ago was to resurrect arguably the worst program in college football.
At Miami, his mission is much different: win a national championship.
"We’re not going to wait. We’re going to go after it," Golden said. "I can’t make a prediction when, but that is our only expectation. … We will return to winning championships here at the University of Miami."
Golden, 41, was introduced as the Hurricanes’ new football coach yesterday in a room crowded with about 200 people inside the Newman Athletic Center on campus.
"It’s a thrill to be here," Golden said. "I appreciate this tremendous opportunity to come here. I told (my wife) five years ago when we took one of the biggest challenges in college football there would be a day like this. I’m honored to be here, humbled to be here."
Golden promised that under his leadership, the Hurricanes will be a smart, tough, disciplined team that plays with passion and energy; one that has an attitude and is aggressive.
He also promised that the current Miami players "will not have a sense of entitlement about the legacy" at Miami." Instead, they’ll "uphold that legacy."
As Michael Irvin, Lamar Thomas, Randall Hill and Darrin Smith looked on, Golden asked former Hurricanes players to be part of the program, imploring them to "please come back."
"Please be on the sidelines. Please come to the practices," Golden said. "Please get in front of the young men so they understand the standard that you set, the legacy you created, the hard work that it took to be the greatest brand in college football."
Malzahn to stay at Auburn
Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is staying put in Auburn, and he’ll be handsomely rewarded for doing so.
Malzahn, who reportedly turned down a head coaching offer from Vanderbilt yesterday in the neighborhood of $3 million a year, was rewarded with a contract extension from Auburn that will more than double his yearly salary, making him one of the highest paid assistants in the country.
All of Auburn’s coaches, including head coach Gene Chizik, will get raises, which were approved by the university’s compensation committee last week.
BYU has bowl for 2013
The Fight Hunger Bowl has reached an agreement with BYU to play in the game in 2013.
If they’re bowl eligible, the Cougars will take the place of the WAC, which was supposed to provide the opponent for a Pac-12 team.
With four teams leaving the WAC in the next two years, the San Francisco-based bowl decided to look for a replacement. The Cougars are becoming a football independent next season and are looking to lock in bowl agreements.