Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Big 10. Leaders and Legends

These universities have a lot to offer. Besides hundreds of different fields of study, there's law schools, med schools, veterinary schools, and countless other post-graduate fields that gifted students may pursue.
So why is it that the people in charge can't seem to count to 10?  The Big 10 used to be ten schools, then it went to 11, and now 12, but it's still called the Big 10. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, or a vet, they have a school for you. Math majors might want to look elsewhere.
But who rakes in the big bucks for these academic wonderlands? Generous rich alumnni aside, it's mostly the football teams.
Once Nebraska came onboard to make it 12 teams, the powers-that-be decided to split them into 2 divisions of 6 each. One would be called the Leaders, and the other the Legends. Why these names? Good question. Then again, what else were they going to call them?

A & B? No, the B teams wouldn't like that.
1 & 2? Same thing.
Left and right?  Too political.
Black and white? No way. Racial overtones.
Red and blue? Nope. Back to the political thing.
North and South? Of what? Chicago? The University of Chitown used to belong to the Big 10 but they got displaced by Northwestern, which is southeast of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Michigan calls itself the "champions of the west" but until Penn State became #11 a while back, near as I can tell, UM sat the farthest east of any school in the conference. When you figure that one out -- please explain it to me.

Hmmm. Maybe studying geography at these places wouldn't be such a good idea either.

Nevertheless, it could be Leaders and Legends were the only names left that wouldn't cause a stir.

At that, Big 10-11-12 schools have spawned both. Dick Butkus came out of Illinois and he's certainly a legend. Chuck Long was a leader at Iowa. A legend? Probably not. Purdue was once known as an NFL quarterback factory. Penn State churned out linebackers, including Matt Millen. He's a legend in Detroit these days, though maybe not how he envisioned it. Michigan was known for QBs, offensive linemen, and receivers. Many have gone on to great success in the NFL. Michigan State featured Magic Johnson. Oops. Wrong sport. Sorry. Wait, they had some guy named Burress. I could be wrong, but isn't he the guy that managed to shoot himself in the leg at an after-hours joint with his own gun and then go to prison for felonious stupidity? Not sure about him being a leader, but I'd bet he's a legend at that club. Ohio State seemingly had highly skilled players that led their teams all over the field year after year, and their ex-head coach, one Jim Tressel, is quickly becoming a legend himself in his own way. Ahem.

That's just a few examples out of the countless people to have roamed the corridors in these institutions of higher learning.

Personally, I don't much care what they call their new "divisions". It sure would be nice if they learned how to count to 10, though. If I can get all the way up to 13 or 14, maybe they'll give me a PhD.

Doctor John. My mom would be so proud.


  1. You with a Doctorate would be the ultimate example of lipstick on a pig.

  2. Dear anonymous: I couldn't agree more with your analogy, but look at it this way -- as long as the sports world keeps feeding me slop, I'll keep rooting around in it. And who knows? Maybe I'll turn into something useful one day. Like a giant McPork sandwich. Hold the lipstick. Thanks for commenting.

  3. we sleek felines don't know about leaders and legends, but big 10's have a way of getting our attention. cat