Meant to get to this Saturday, but UIC's monstrous win over Illinois stole center stage at the United Center.
Prior to the game, I chatted with Big Ten assistant commissioner of communications Scott Chipman and his top lieutenant Valerie Todryk Krebs. They're going around getting even more feedback on the whole division setup.
I outlined my fabulous ideas for fixing the "Legends" and "Leaders" division names, which are outlined here: http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/4996
While both listened politely to my thoughts -- as well as my reasons for not being a big fan of the names, particularly "Leaders" -- it doesn't sound as though they're going to shoot them up the chain of command to commish Jim Delany.
In fact, it sounds like Delany's comments to WGN 720-AM on Thursday are being slightly misinterpreted -- in part because the good man was a little worn from a brief media blitz (nine shows in three days, if my memory serves) to discuss the league's changes.
While Delany meant what he said when he declared "Legends" and "Leaders" will be re-evaluated soon, the Big Ten evaluates and re-evaluates every aspect of its marketing and branding and overall operation all the time.
(Soon, hopefully, some Big Ten czars will sit down with Northwestern and Nebraska and decide which school gets to be shortened to NU on the ESPN gametracker when they play. Shouldn't the tie go to the team that has been in the league for lo these many years?)
In that vein, it's almost as likely Delany will announce within the next three years, "Hey, let's expand the conference to 18 teams," or "Hey, let's hire this Willhite guy to start a gambling racket in our spare second-story office," as he will declare, "Oops, we need to change our division names."
So if you've already purchased your Legends and Leaders lanyards, lederhosen and leather jackets, you don't need to pore through the garbage to find your receipts. Your gear will be current for the first Big Ten title game on Dec. 3, 2011 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.