With Nebraska set to join the Big Ten in June, the conference has revealed the names of its new football divisions for when it adds its 12th team.
Ohio State, as well as Illinois, Indiana, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin will compete in the “Leaders” division each football season, and Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern will comprise the “Legends” division.
“‘Legends’ is a nod to our history and to the people associated with our schools who are widely recognized as legends,” said Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. “‘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.”
With the division names taking a generic approach to honoring its past and present, the Big Ten will honor specific individuals of Big Ten history through its championship game and postseason awards.
The Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy, honoring former University of Chicago coach Amos Alonzo Stagg and Penn State coach Joe Paterno, will be awarded to the winner of the Big Ten championship game, and the MVP of the championship game will be named the Grange-Griffin MVP, honoring former Illinois running back Harold “Red” Grange and former OSU running back Archie Griffin.
“Archie’s the only two-time (Heisman Trophy) award winner, so we think that’s appropriate,” Delany said.
Besides Griffin, four other Buckeyes will be honored with postseason awards, including Woody Hayes, who will be honored with the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year award; Eddie George, with the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year award; Orlando Pace, with the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year award; and Jack Tatum, with the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year award.
The Big Ten also unveiled on Monday a new logo for the conference, which Michael Bierut and Michael Gericke of the international design firm Pentagram designed. The new logo consists of the word “Big” written in blue on top of a blue box containing the word “Ten” in white.
“The new Big Ten logo was developed to symbolize the conference’s future, as well as its rich heritage, strong tradition of competition, academic leadership and passionate alumni,” Gericke said. “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.”