Conference Renaming

Okay, now that the Big Ten has 12 teams, the Big 12 has 10 teams, and the Pac-10 has 12 teams, it's time to seriously consider renaming the conferences...or not. SI.com writer Andy Staples weighed in with his thoughts...these are mine.

I'm a little conflicted about how, if at all, we should approach renaming the conferences. On one hand, it makes total sense to rename them based solely on how many schools are in each. Odd that the only BCS conferences to change their numbers were ones that actually have numbers in their name (Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10) and the ones that didn't change were the the non-numbered names (SEC, ACC, Big East).

BTW, how the Big East remained intact throughout all of this expansion nonsense is beyond me. From the get-go, the Big East had a bulls-eye on it. And it may still, but at least for the time being, things seem to be settled. For a recap, here's what has changed:

Big Ten: Added Nebraska
Pac-10: Added Colorado, Utah
Big 12: Lost Nebraska, Colorado
WAC: Lost Boise State
MWC: Added Boise State, Lost Utah

Of course it makes sense to just rename the numbered conferences based on member count:
Old        -> New
Big Ten -> Big 12
Big 12   -> Big 10
Pac-10   -> Pac-12

However, I would argue that not only does that make it even more confusing, but it ruins what I believe are some great historically significant names. I believe that we should keep the conference names as is. It makes things sound like their is a historical significance to them...because there is. I want my kids to ask me one day why the Big Ten is called that when there is 12, or 14, or 16 teams in it.

Keeping the old names makes you remember that college football, especially here in the midwest, has a rich a storied history worth preserving. The Big Ten didn't rename itself as the Big 11 when Penn State joined in the early 90's, and I don't think they should rename it now. I can see the Pac-10 going to the Pac-12...for some reason I think there is less of a need to keep such a strong tie to the historical presence in the west. Maybe they're just more progressive out there.

But here in Michigan, history is important to us. The Big Ten is a great conference, and of course it is now stronger than ever with the addition of Nebraska. But that doesn't mean we need to change our identity. The name "Big Ten" needs to stay. It sounds like Jim Delaney is opt to consider a name change. This is my simple plea to him not to go down that road.

College football, and the Big Ten especially, doesn't need a re-branding campaign. Things will be fine the way they currently are. People know what and where the Big Ten is, and they know what and where the Big 12 is. Let's leave it as is. Any attempt to change it will create just more confusion.

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