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Big Ten officially dumps Legends and Leaders, going with East and West division names

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(USA Today Sports Images)

The Big Ten's decision to name its divisions Legends and Leaders will go down as one of the more humorous failures in marketing history.

At least the conference recognized it and moved on. The league's presidents and chancellors approved a plan to go with the traditional East and West division names. That will begin when 2014. That's when Rutgers and Maryland join, and while that's a marketing fiasco as well, that's a story for another day.

The more important news is the conference will go to a nine-game league schedule starting in 2016.

Having a bloated conference means more scheduling issues, and the Big Ten tried to work through them the best it could. With nine conference games, half of the league will get stuck with one more road game than home game every year. The East will have five home games in even-numbered years, and the West will have five home games in odd-numbered years. A 10-game league schedule would have solved that issue, but that would have left very little flexibility for non-conference scheduling.

The East division will be Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. The West division will be Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin.

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