4 Corners: Should conference names match number of teams?

August 09, 2010

Big Ten won't budge

Chris Dufresne

Los Angeles Times

We're almost positive most student-athletes admitted to Big Ten and Big 12 schools can count to 15, which makes the recent comedy sketch involving conference membership changes even more hilarious.

I asked Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany at the spring BCS meetings if there was a limit to how many teams his league could have and still stay the Big Ten, and he sort of laughed and said he was surprised the conference didn't become the Big 11 when Penn State joined nearly two decades ago.

Big Ten presidents, however, are not budging on this as they believe the century-old conference name is a powerful brand.

The Big 12 is lucky to be the Big Anything after nearly been raided of half its membership by the Pac-10. The Big 12 should change its name and leave Delany isolated in mathematical incorrectness.

cdufresne@tribune.com

Accept their quirks

Teddy Greenstein

Chicago Tribune

What a ridiculous question. You actually think there should be 10 teams in the Big Ten and a dozen in the Big 12? Absurd. The world is a much better place with quirks.

For example, where is Manhattan College located? In the Bronx. How about Skokie Country Club? It's in Glencoe, Ill. Evanston Golf Club? It's in Skokie. Chicago Golf Club is in Wheaton, Ill. Where do you suppose you can find the Country Club of Decatur? OK, it's really in Decatur.

The point is that these numerical and geographical eccentricities add character and answer trivia questions. So thumbs down to the Pac-10 for changing its name to the accurate Pac-12.

tgreenstein@tribune.com

Stick with tradition

Andrew Carter

Orlando Sentinel

Ideally, a conference's name should reflect the number of teams in it. It's logical. It's less confusing. It makes a lot of sense. But there's a gray area. The names of certain conferences are worth an intangible something that's difficult to describe.

I'm speaking, of course, about two conferences in particular. The Pac-10. The Big Ten. After the latest round of expansion, both are growing. The Pac-10 has added Colorado and Utah and will become a 12-team league. The Big Ten added Nebraska and, well, will become a 12-team league.

No matter. There is value in the names that is impossible to measure. The Pac-12 just doesn't have the same ring, does it? And the Big 12? Well, that's already taken. And outdated, as that conference is losing Nebraska and Colorado.

Is it confusing? It could be. Does it seem silly? Yes. But the names should stay. Some traditions should remain.

acarterb@tribune.com

It won't matter for long

Bill Kline

The Morning Call

Why should conferences comply with the rules when their football and basketball programs do not?

Let 'em use any name they desire. Ten universities in the Big 12? That's OK. Twelve colleges in the Big 10? No problem. Hell, tailgate-boozing fans can't count past 10, and blueblood boosters don't count past 10 — as in the top 10.

Besides, let's help save the planet. If conferences changed names every time they added or lost a school, they'd have more useless letterhead and envelopes than a Washington think tank.

Anyhow, this discussion soon will be moot. In a few years, conferences will start selling their naming rights the way bowl games and stadiums already do: Big Mac™, Mountain Dew™ or Pac Sun™ Conference anyone?

wkline@tribune.com

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