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Berry Tramel: Keep the Big 12 brand because there's no better name

The Big 12 name will survive, even if the league is down to 10 teams, because people know the Big 12 means Texas, Oklahoma and whoever else happens to be a member.
by Berry Tramel Modified: July 6, 2010 at 10:43 pm •  Published: July 6, 2010

The Big 12 trudges on with 10 schools. Which means we've now got on our hands a conference with a name that makes no sense.

But the Big 12 name is almost certain to survive for pragmatic reasons.

For better or worse, the Big 12 is a brand. It's not the Big Ten, didn't come over on the Mayflower, but Americans know the Big 12 means Texas, Oklahoma and whoever else happens to be a member these days.

And changing the name at this juncture would be a sign of weakness. It would be an accurate sign, but you don't want to confirm what everyone from Beano Cook to Tommy Tuberville is saying.

Finally, you leave the Big 12 name intact because you never know; maybe some day the league again will have 12 schools, at which point Big 12 supporters can say, "See."

Of course, the very best reason to keep the Big 12 brand is that no worthy successor has emerged.

The Big 12 has been the topic of much re-naming talk, and both the serious-minded and the wisenheimers have fallen far short of clever.

There are lots of suggested names off the Texas dominance theme. Bevo and Pals. Texas and the Nine Dwarfs. Texas and the Pips.

Lots of suggested names off the precarious nature of the alliance. The Ripe For Picking Conference. The Life Support Conference.

The Marriage of Convenience Conference. The Endangered 10.

If alliteration is mandatory, the Tentative Ten. The Timid Ten. The Temporary Ten.

No winners in that crop.

The catchy names are either too long (the We Know Better Than to Use Numbers in our Name Conference) or too truthful (the Flyover League) or too combative (the Bigger 10).

The best I've heard is the Beebe Bunch, named in honor of commissioner/savior Dan Beebe. You've at least got a theme song. Here's the story, of a lovely Longhorn...

The geographic names are too blah and too restricting.

The Red River League is completely accurate (you schools in the North don't matter) but is a turnoff to future prospects.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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