Reshaping the Big Ten brand in 2011

The new guy in the room quickly discovered that the Big Ten still operated in the old ways.

The year was 2005, and Ron Zook had traveled to Chicago to attend his first Big Ten coaches meeting. Hired the previous December as Illinois' coach, Zook gathered with his new colleagues to discuss key issues and to propose possible changes.

But some Big Ten coaches greeted the prospect of change with hesitation.

"People would say, 'Bo didn't do that and Woody didn't do that,'" Zook recalled. "Well, you know what? Those guys have been gone for a long time, and the game has changed."

In the six years since the meeting, the Big Ten began to change, too. Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes might have a tough time recognizing the league these days.

If those iconic coaches, who shaped the Big Ten brand during decades at Michigan and Ohio State, were still alive, they'd see a very different conference. ...

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