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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 Great Plains Conference is one step up from Flyover League.

The Heartland Conference sounds like a confederation of churches.

Heck, I'd vote for Southwest Conference over all those. At least it's got a little history.

Sad to say, creativity has slipped mightily since the 1994 formation of the Big 12, when our readers suggested all kinds of great names that frankly, with a little adjustment, would fit today.

Here were my 10 favorite ideas from 16 years ago.

10. The Magnificent 8 & Their Stepchildren. This could be modified to Texas & Their Stepchildren, or better yet, the Big 12 South & Their Stepchildren.

9. The 12 Guys.

8. Big Foot.

7. Not Quite a Baker's Dozen. Now just drop the Baker's. Not Quite a Dozen Conference.

6. Grapes of Wrath. Call me crazy, but I love it. The Grapes of Wrath League. Any conference with the word "wrath" in its name is intimidating. The championship game could be called the Dust Bowl.

5. The Wild West. Doesn't work great now, but the Wild West would have been a great name for the Pac-16.

4. Big Eight & Who? League. What goes around comes around. Now it's the Texas & Who? League.

3. Tornado Alley. I like this better than the Grapes of Wrath. The Tornado Alley League. Are you kidding me? You don't think UCLA or Florida State would be watching the skies if a cloud appeared in the third quarter in Austin or Norman? Same as if the Pac-10 changed its name to the Earthquake Conference. Never hurts to plant a little worry.

2. Duncan's Dirty Dozen, named in honor of Big 12 co-founder Donnie Duncan. Doesn't really work now because Duncan wasn't much involved in the salvation of the Big 12, but this is a cousin of the Beebe Bunch.

1. Poison Ivy League. I liked it then. I like it now.

Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

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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