Big Ten announces division names, trophies, unveils new logo


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The Big Ten announced Monday names for its two new football divisions and 18 trophies that will be awarded annually beginning next season. The conference also unveiled its new logo.

The league's two divisions — whose teams were previously announced in September — will be dubbed "Legends" and "Leaders."

The Legends division includes Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwestern, while the Leaders division consists of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said the league's choice of division names honor the conference's history while also emphasizing the future.

"'Legends is a nod to our history and to the people associated with our schools who are widely recognized as legends — student-athletes, coaches, alumni, and faculty," Delany said in a release.

"'Leaders looks to the future as we remain committed to fostering leaders, the student-athletes who are encouraged to lead in their own way for the rest of their lives, in their families, in their communities and in their chosen professions."

Michael Bierut and Michael Gericke of Pentagram — an international design firm — developed the new logo. Delaney called it "fun," saying it "has something for everyone." Gericke said the logo is meant to symbolize the future, tradition, and academic leadership of the conference.

"The new logo evolved from the previous logo's use of negative space and is built on the conference's iconic name, without reference to the number of member institutions," Gericke said in a release.

Eighteen new trophies were also announced. They will each be awarded annually, beginning with the 2011 season. Among them is a postgraduate honor — the Ford-Kinnick Leadership Award — named for Iowa Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick and the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford, who played for Michigan's national championship teams in 1932 and 1933.

Indianapolis Colt tight end Dallas Clark is the former Hawkeye paid homage to in the other form of a trophy. The Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year Award — named for Clark and former Penn State tight end Ted Kwalick — will be given to the conference's best tight end.

Additionally, the winner of the Big Ten championship game will be awarded the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy, named for former University of Chicago head coach Amos Alonzo Stagg and the Nittany Lions' current head coach Joe Paterno.

Many were quick to voice their opinions about the new logo and division names via social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook following the announcement Monday morning.
ESPN.com's Big Ten blogger, Adam Rittenberg, was one of many critics of the new names.

"Legends and Leaders is too generic, a little too arrogant, and too Little League for me," he wrote in a blog post.

The Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein Tweeted, "Lots of 'Ls' there. Wouldn't [Big Ten] rather be associated with 'Ws'?"

The addition of Nebraska in the 2011-12 academic year will see the Big Ten play its first season as a 12-team league. The teams who finish in first place in each division will meet in the first Big Ten football championship game in prime time on Dec. 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis; the game will be televised by Fox Sports. The winner will earn a chance to play in the Rose Bowl or the BCS national championship game.

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