As the rest of the college sports landscape evolves to meet the challenges of the 21st century, the Big Ten remains a safe haven for people who love amateur athletics but consider the forward pass a form of witchcraft. Considering the conference expanded to eleven teams over 20 years ago, its very name belies its reactionary tendencies. So when commissioner Jim Delany announced the conference would be updating its boring but perfectly serviceable logo in anticipation of Nebraska joining next year, nobody expected it to be bold, vibrant, or in color. Somehow, the result--unveiled yesterday at press conference Chicago--was even more conservative than predicted.

Here, for the sake of reference, is the old logo...



...and the new one



A sampling of reactions to the change:

  • "Unsightly...a design which looks as if it needed an elementary-school stencil and an oven timer to complete." - Chris Gentilviso, Time
  • "We'd guess that these logos were designed at the T-Shirt Deli, but that store does pretty damn fine work." - Chuck Sudo, Chicagoist
  • "The new Big Ten logo is bold in the sense it doesn't bother to acknowledge there are 12 teams in the league." - Andy Baggot, Wisconsin State Journal
  • "What is this, a trademark or an M.C. Escher print?" - Dennis Dodd, CBS Sports
  • "Makes about as much sense as calling a 12-member conference 'the Big Ten.'" - Cindy Boren, The Washington Post
  • "Who comes up with this stuff? Did the Big Ten pay them? Did it keep its receipt?" - Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com
  • "Rotate 90 degrees to the left, and it looks like an 8-bit angry skull. This represents Notre Dame: stuck in the '80s, angry, part of the Big Ten's designs no matter if they want to be or not, and kinda dead....Turn logo 90 degrees to right, and you will clearly see the head and raised ears of a mouse. THE BIG TEN IS DISNEY AND WE JUST PROVED IT OMG." - Spencer Hall, EDSBS