The Big 12 wanted to take the Big Ten's name, claims Jim Delany

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

But Jim Delany was too smart to give up his #brand.

Remember when the Big Ten was moving to 12 teams and the Big 12 was moving to 10 teams, and everyone thought it would be a really clever idea to make the conferences switch names?

Well according to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe did too, and he was serious.

"He offered the following trade," Delany began. "He said 'you're now at 12, we're now at 10, having lost Nebraska and Colorado. Could we become the Big Ten, and you become the Big 12?'

"I thought, 'I don't think so.' "

It turns out that Delany actually considered changing the name from the Big Ten to the Big 11 when the conference added Penn State. But then everyone convinced him that was a terrible idea, because #brands.

"The name represents a series of characteristics. Brand characteristics."

Former Domino's Pizza CEO and current Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon knows his #brands too, and he knows the conference has no business giving up its brand because of math.

"The Big Ten stands for more than just a descriptor of the number of teams in the conference. It stands for the legacies, the traditions, the histories. It defines and organization, an institution."

So nice try, Big 12. The Big Ten is keeping its name no matter how many teams it adds. Because in Big Ten country, a name actually stands for something — like legends and leaders and Rotel and FarmersOnly.com ads.

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