The Big Ten's Kentucky Problem

By Vico on February 6, 2014 at 11:30a
Mark Stoops
80 Comments

Another National Signing Day extravaganza came and went with no shortage of intrigue and causes for celebration.

The clear winners of the day were Alabama and USC. Alabama, notwithstanding very urgent issues of oversigning, took the best from Iowa and Minnesota and signed more five-stars than I thought any class could conceivably see. USC may have made the strongest push on National Signing Day as any team in the country.

In the Big Ten, Michigan State and Ohio State were the day's headline attractions. Though his decision was not without some additional drama, Malik McDowell of Southfield, Michigan, committed to the reigning Big Ten and Rose Bowl champions. Ohio State signed, by far, the conference's best overall class.

It seems every Big Ten program has something for which to celebrate. Michigan boasts the conference's best overall recruit. Minnesota has the best running back commitment in the class. Nebraska and Penn State closed very well down the stretch. Nebraska may have found new life recruiting with the hire of secondary coach Charlton Warren. James Franklin hit the ground running at Penn State, even if most of it came at the expense of Franklin's former employer.

Even Illinois and Purdue, conference cellar-dwellers of late, have reasons to brag. Illinois got a slew of quality, and under the radar, JUCO players like Jihad Ward. It also got Jeff George's son on a grayshirt offer, just in case he turns out useful. Purdue has its ideal prospect of a quarterback on campus already. David Blough was the story of Elite 11 in the summer of 2013 and held firm to his commitment to Darrell Hazell.

These superlatives of each Big Ten recruiting class and more were discussed on BTN during the network's Football Signing Day special. Left off the table was a matter of frank conversation of how badly programs in the Big Ten, excluding Michigan and Ohio State, were smoked on the recruiting trail by Kentucky of the SEC.

Kentucky's recruiting class would rank as the third best of the Big Ten, two spots behind Michigan for second-best.

It was the tenth best of the SEC.

Prima facie, drawing attention to this development from yesterday could be treated curtly. Namely, Kentucky signed more players (29 in total) than Big Ten programs usually sign. Whether this is deliberate oversigning even in the new SEC mentality or filling voids in a scholarships-depleted roster is beyond my immediate concern right now. However, recruiting rankings can be biased by quantity even when they're ideally supposed to measure quality. While true, that is precisely the logic of oversigning.

However, it is more interesting how Kentucky built its recruiting class. Kentucky football finally discovered how close it is to Ohio. Eschewing past recruiting approaches that sought fringe players from Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow used their Ohio roots to pull the best of the second-tier from the Buckeye State.

J.C. Shurburtt, national recruiting analyst from 247Sports, mentioned this was learning from a wrong approach employed by Joker Phillips. “If you’re Kentucky, where do you go recruit? Joker Phillips made a serious tactical mistake trying to get fifth-tier guys out of Georgia and South Carolina and compete." Shurburtt continued, "now, they’re getting the second-tier guys out of Ohio, the first-tier guys out of Kentucky and dropping down and getting some guys out of Florida. I think that roster’s going to get much, much better in the near future."

Ten of Kentucky's 29 recruits in its 2014 class came from the Buckeye State and not all were from Southwest Ohio. Players like Dorian Baker of Cleveland Heights had offers from Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota. Mikel Horton, a promising tailback prospect from West Chester, had offers from those three schools as well. Basically, all of those recruits had offers from Illinois, Indiana, and most had offers on the table from Minnesota and Purdue as well.

Nick Richardson (Westerville) even had an offer from Michigan State, the future Big Ten and Rose Bowl champions, before committing to Kentucky at the end of July 2013. Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield) had offers from Michigan State, Nebraska, and Penn State, even fielding strong interest from Ohio State, before committing to Kentucky in April 2013.

This was the story of Kentucky's recruiting class among the Ohio prospects. All had Big Ten offers. Several had "good" Big Ten offers from programs like Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, and Wisconsin. None stayed in the Big Ten. Most did not even waste time on an official visit.

This was not a problem for Ohio State and Michigan. Neither program lost a recruit to Kentucky and it is reasonable to expect an offer from a program like Michigan would carry more weight in Ohio than an offer from a program that won two games in 2013. Penn State, and newcomers Maryland and Rutgers, could mitigate the new "Kentucky problem" by continuing its focus on the Eastern Seaboard. Not one of these programs recruits Ohio strongly, though Penn State should reconsider Ohio as a priority.

It is very problematic for every other program in the Big Ten. Ohio, along with Western Pennsylvania and Chicagoland, is the hotbed of talent for the Big Ten.

Big Ten programs are aware of this. Coaches of programs like Illinois, Michigan State, and Wisconsin know they will struggle to compete with Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State for the best talent in the Buckeye State (along with Texas and Alabama on rare occasions). Thus, they focus on the second-tier. They offer a chance to play Big Ten football even if the offers from the marquee programs did not come.

Kentucky may have a better sales pitch right now. Shurburtt notes that much of it may be the exigencies of recruiting in the SEC. Kentucky is going to struggle to beat a recruit in Tennessee that has a Tennessee offer. It will not get a recruit from Alabama that has an offer from either Iron Bowl rival. Thus, the focus has moved north given its problems in the South. Shuburtt summed it up nicely, "you go north and say, ‘Come play in the SEC instead of going to Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana or Purdue.’”

"you go north and say, ‘Come play in the SEC instead of going to Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana or Purdue.’”

Notwithstanding Kentucky's winless conference campaign in 2013, bragging on the SEC is a better sales pitch right now than Tim Beckman talking up the opportunity to play Purdue and Minnesota.

It will always have that stigma as a basketball school first, but that might be a fun distraction in the offseason for a Kentucky football player. It would at least be a sight to see on a campus visit for a junior day festivity in February or March.

The obvious question is if this is sustainable. Does it make sense for Kentucky? The answer should be a clear "yes". Kentucky's recruiting class in 2014 is still just the tenth best in its own conference, but it is giving itself a better chance to compete with Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina in its own division than it had in previous recruiting classes by recruiting the second-tier from Ohio in lieu of the bottom-tier of recruits from the Southeast.

Further, these very same caliber recruits from the Buckeye State were recruited to places like Michigan State and Wisconsin to help them win games like the 2012 Outback Bowl and the 2007 Capital One Bowl, respectively. Both wins were against competition from the SEC.

Kentucky's long-term viability may be a question going forward. No matter how well it is recruiting now, it seems inconceivable that it will be any better than fourth best in its own division. Kentucky has a decent stadium and improvable facilities. There is no reason to believe its trajectory could not mirror in-state rival Louisville, another "basketball school" and one that had a football program on life support just 25 years ago.

However, a loud segment of Kentucky's fan base may always be basketball first and seek to maximize revenue for basketball at the expense of football, which outearns Kentucky's very lucrative basketball program two to one. This may frustrate Mark Stoops, who could otherwise find success for his stay in Lexington and use that as a platform another job in which he would higher priority.

Whatever Kentucky's long-term fortunes, it is clear it is not sustainable for the rest of the Big Ten that Kentucky should have the conference's third best recruiting class. The tenth best recruiting class of the SEC should ideally not be third only to Ohio State and Michigan in the Big Ten. That recruiting class, and future recruiting classes for Kentucky, will be comprised of quality, 3-star and 4-star Ohioans accustomed to taking other Big Ten offers to stay closer to their Ohio home for college football.

Kentucky, the same Kentucky that won four SEC games in the past four years combined and none in the last two seasons, is giving those recruits a better offer right now and at no expense to distance from home.

80 Comments

Comments

CarolinaBuck's picture

Kentucky went out and hired a named HC in Mark Stoops. The bottom half of the B1G seem to be content with hiring the hot MAC coach, whoever that may be. Nick Saban isn't leaving Alabama to coach Illinois, but the Illini and the rest of these bottom B1G teams need to hire someone you've heard of and with a decent track record of success in order to instill some life in their moribund programs.

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

Mark Stoops has never been a HC before UK, all he really has is the Stoops name... And lets keep in mind who some of the hot MAC coaching hires have been in the past... Meyer and Saban. MAC coaches have won with less and built the teams they left in many cases, coordinators come from established teams loaded with talent. I would say outside of bragging about who they were with, they are the riskier of the two.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

tennbuckeye19's picture

I agree with your point, but Saban technically wasn't a MAC coaching hire when he went to Michigan State. He was at Toledo and then went to work for the Browns under Belichick before taking the job with Sparty.
 

Furious George 27's picture

True, but he had head coaching experience before he went to the Browns. He wasn't a coordinator who you weren't sure if he could become a HC when he went to MSU. I could also mention Hayes and Schembechler on the list of MAC coaches. I wanted to stay current.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

gwalther's picture

Edit: Wrote a post about Tressel and then saw BigKat took care of it already. Sorry about that.

Class of 2008

BigKat45's picture

A couple years ago we hired some no-name I-AA coach named Tressel. It has far less to do with name than it does the track record of success.

"Well-prepared players make plays. I have yet to be in a game where the most prepared team didn't win.” - Urban

+1 HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

Tressel's father Lee was a well-known Ohio college coach, and Tress had won National titles at YSU already.  He had a resume coming in to Ohio State already.  Maybe not well know to most OSU fans, but an accomplished coach who was far from a no-name coming in.  

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

+1 HS
gwalther's picture

Coaching hires reflect the level of commitment a school has to the program. Schools like Minnesota and Illinois have not had that commitment. We've recently seen other schools, MSU, TSUN, Purdue, Indiana, take steps in the right direction. One of the big reasons we were successful is that Geiger invested heavily in both our football and basketball facilities early last decade.
Oh, and we also had a coach that was able to cover up flaws/lack of staff investments because of his own coaching savvy and the style of game he wanted to play. Getting good talent didn't hurt so much either.

Class of 2008

dwcbuckeye's picture

Very interesting article.  I certainly did not know how well Kentucky was doing in recruiting.  Part of me gets a little ticked off over the draw to a mediocre (using my best Sherman voice) SEC team over some very good B10 teams.  I take solace in the fact that this too shall blow over and the pendulum will eventually swing away from the SEC.  Whether this results from NC teams from the B10 (tOSU), a generally more competitive B10 in the new playoff system, the return to dominance of USC and the West, or just Saban retiring. 

brylee's picture

I imagine it is pretty easy selling the SEC and immediate playing time to a 2nd/3rd tier, 18 yr old.

trock's picture

I'm still upset they stole the Glenville trio.......oh wait

+1 HS
osu07asu10's picture

I've laughed when people try and say that Kentucky is going to steal "Ohio State recruits" and I still will about that.
This article is pretty eye opening though. It is definitely a B1G problem. They are raiding the talent of other programs in the B1G that tOSU and the B1G need to stay competitive.
I'm not sure there is much that can be done when "second tier" Ohio players have an option to play at Kentucky (proximity, some what "warmer" weather) and the SEC vs. playing for Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana in the B1G.
We need the middle tier B1G programs to step it up!

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

IGotAWoody's picture

Jihad Ward. Seriously. This proves that reality will always be funnier than anything comedy can come up with to parody it, even the brilliant Key & Peele.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

-1 HS
TheBadOwl's picture
  1. Kid obviously didn't pick his name.
  2. I don't really see what's funny about it. Jihad translates to "Struggle"
  3. He was born before 9/11, it's not like his parents were all "Death to America" when they decided to name their child.

Nobody laughs at boys named "Christian" or at girls named things like "Charity" or "Hope" or "Faith" which is basically what this is. The sad thing is that, even if Jihad Ward makes it big, he'll always be hounded by stupid jokes about his name.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

-2 HS
BuckNutzGasMan's picture

I met charity hope and faith at the strip joint last weekend.

+1 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view1/3829042/lighten-up-francis-o.gif

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+2 HS
I_Run_The_Dave's picture

Nobody laughs at boys named "Christian" or at girls named things like "Charity" or "Hope" or "Faith" which is basically what this is.

Feel free to downvote me for this, as I admit I'm crossing into dangerous waters here, but...
Naming a child "Jihad" is more like a Christian naming their kid "Crusade", or a Nazi naming their kid "Genocide".  Not all Muslim's believe in Jihad, just as not all Christians in the middle ages believed in the crusades and such.  Nor did all Germans believe in Nazism.  But find a Christian that doesn't believe in the goodness of charity, hope, or faith.  In fact, find many non-Christians that don't believe in the goodness of those things.  Finding people that believe that "Jihad" is a positive thing that are not Islamic extremists is harder to find.  Hitler wrote a book called "Mein Kampf" which means, "My Struggle" too.  Let's not try to discuss Hitler's virtues, please.

-2 HS
ECBeastor's picture

You won't find a single Muslim that doesn't believe in jihad.  That's because a Muslim knows what jihad actually means in the Quran.  
Jihad is of three kinds; the carrying out of a struggle against : 1. a visible enemy, 2. the devil, 3. one's self.
jihad-bil-saif is jihad with the sword.  
jihad-bil-nafs is the spiritual exertion to curb one's lower desires and evil inclinations
The Quran specifically states that Muslims may not be the first to attack.  
The fact that people in America are so naive and misguided, that they actually believe that jihad to a Muslim just means war against non-Muslims, is truly a frightening thought.
No where does the Quran say anything about it being acceptable to take up a jihad against non-Muslims simply because they are non believers.  Just like nowhere in the bible did it say what the KKK was doing in the name of Christianity was acceptable.  Lunatics come in all religions and they apparently can make up large chunks of the population.  Poor, uneducated illiterate folks without access to mainstream media can be easily manipulated to believe whatever someone in power wants them to believe.   

+2 HS
Chise47's picture

Can't fix stupid, stop trying.
On another note, this shit is way off topic !!! +1 for the effort though. @ECBeas.....

+1 HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

Quaran 9:5 and 9:29 seem to say otherwise.  

In any case, I think 11W guidelines would prefer that these types of comment threads be avoided. 

 

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

-1 HS
ECBeastor's picture

Interpretation varies I suppose.  Historical context as well. Reading a single verse can be misleading. 

Sort of like Deuteronomy 13:6-10. 

"If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you ... Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die."

Seeing that one verse reads like any non-believer of one's family should be killed by their own family throwing the first stones.  Pretty barbaric religion. 

vedwin's picture

I logged in just to say thanks for the completely levelheaded response.
Hmm...and not to wade into political waters but as a country, we loved jihad when it was directed against the USSR and their troops in Central Asia. 
Go Bucks.

-1 HS
sharks's picture

Boy, his middle name must really be terrible

The postgame show is brought to you by... Christ, I can't find it. The hell with it...

NitroBuck's picture

Great point.  Hard to top the days of WVU's Johnny Dingle and Scooter Berry making a point to sit next to each other on the bench.

Ferio, tego

tennbuckeye19's picture

The real question will be if recruiting success will lead to actual on-field success for Kentucky.
My guess is they will probably be only a bowl eligible .500 level program and still unable to compete for division titles, just like they were under Rich Brooks. 

+1 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Tenn good point I agree but that's a mighty tough conference to go through have an overall record of .500 - maybe in a few years but time will tell. 

tennbuckeye19's picture

The formula Brooks used was to win their 4 non-conference games and then "steal" 2 or more conference wins. But, it took him a few years to get to that point.

Chise47's picture

I really can't wait to see if Stoops can get 2-3 classes like this from Ohio, then see how the,"Slow Midwest", kids develop in the,"fast $EC".
I believe those kids will make Kentucky far from an easy win.

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Agree - Stoops, all credit to him, landed a good class.
Translate that to on-field success, and then sustain it.
 

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

sbentz4's picture

Is it just me or does anybody else not care about the new B1G west?  I think that OSU and scUM will always have appeal for the foreseeable future, even with Brady Hoke as coach, and PSU and MSU are rising.  That leaves us with 3 good games on the schedule every year and a pretty good quality of schedule without our nonconference opponents.  I don't want to see the Nebraskas and Minnesotas of the world be horrible, but I don't think it affects us reaching our goals.

osu07asu10's picture

I agree with this all the way up until the B1GCG. When the BigXII had a conference championship game in the mid 2000s it would pit an OU or Texas team vs. an unranked 3-4 loss team like Colorado and the games were ugly.
With the 4 team playoff, we need the B1G championship game to be between two highly ranked teams like it was this past year, otherwise it is another national stage for pundits to rail on the B1G conference. Playing a 3-4 loss team would be a lose-lose for the B1G East winner. Beat them and it means nothing, lose and you are terrible.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+1 HS
sbentz4's picture

I think the playoff system is actually a reason why it won't matter.  Now you only have to get into the top 4, not the top 2 for a chance at the national championship.  I think it would matter for a one loss team possibly, but right now I am not sure they would let any 1 loss B1G team in the playoffs regardless.

Denny's picture

Based on the headline I thought this was an article about Cincinatti. 

Taquitos.

+1 HS
harleymanjax's picture

For some strange reason it always pisses me off when people spell my hometown wrong!

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

CharlotteBuckeye's picture

The real reason why Kentucky is recruiting so well.....
 
 

1. Coach is always right.

2. See rule #1.

DC-town's picture

Just an observation, but charity, hope and faith are all names you'll see at the crazy horse or dockside dolls at 2am on a Wednesday, so yes, they are made fun of-
Is Michigan St's class honestly behind Kentucky?  Depending on what service you read, msu is better than UM...
Of course espn downgrades a recruit as soon as he signs with a B1G team so that could have some bearing on the ratings 

'Piss excellence' -RB

DC-town's picture

Hopefully the Iowa's, Wisconsin and Minnesota's can use the realignment to their advantage.  The east should be a meat grinder, west is wide open...the B1G championship game will be represented by Wisconsin or....yeah, wide open

'Piss excellence' -RB

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Whatever Kentucky's long-term fortunes, it is clear it is not sustainable for the rest of the Big Ten that Kentucky should have the conference's third best recruiting class.

Excellent post, Vico, but the SEC has sustainability problems of its own.
No question that UK's 2014 recruiting success in Ohio sucked, in the short-term, for the likes of Purdue, Ind, ILL, etc.
Going forward, though, if UK were able to win roughly 2-3 more SEC conference games per season, conversely that's 2-3 losses for other SEC programs with rabid fan and booster bases that have zero tolerance for such turn-of-events. So, they get their coaches fired, which maybe contributes to a down-cycle, which maybe makes it a little easier for Ohio State or Michigan to pull a 4/5 star kid out of their backyards. Ultimately, there simply won't be a large enough supply of conference wins/championships to satisfy all the demands under the New SEC Model.

+1 HS
osubuck57's picture

Good for Stoops. Shame on the rest of the BIG Ten, for letting some of these kids go south. All about relationships. The lower Big ten schools don't have a proven track record. And with the SEC getting the exposure they do, even at a Kentucky, can you really blame them?? Smart move by Stoops.

SCOTTC.

BucksFan2000's picture

The gap between the SEC and everyone else in recruiting this year is alarming.  I typically go by the 247 rankings.  In the top 25 you have 4 B1G teams and 10 SEC teams.  And two of the B1G are 24 and 25.
Vanderbilt was last in the SEC, but they beat out 6 B1G teams.  That should be considered unacceptable.

+2 HS
Furious George 27's picture

I agree that the Big10 needs to step up... However, I think the rankings are a bit skewed in the fact that 5 Big10 teams signed under 20 players yesterday whereas UK and Tenn signed 62 between the two. Now I don't know if that's all they had to offer or not, but it seems like a lot of SEC teams got their boost from quantity rather than quality. The middle tier schools can never really close the gap when they can sign 5-6 players less than the avg SEC team.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

BucksFan2000's picture

If you look at the averages, it's arguably worse.  Teams with a 90 or higher in the SEC - 5.  In the B1G, just OSU.
Michigan is close to 90, but that's it.  3 SEC teams were close.
Now the same can be said for all the other major conferences, so it's not just the B1G getting owned here.  Aside from the SEC, everyone is kind of even.  Crazy.
If we go undefeated it doesn't matter.  But our crappy conference gives us no room for error.

Furious George 27's picture

Based on the averages though michigan should be ahead of 4 SEC teams and in the top 10... What really matters is how PSU, MSU and michigan does in recruiting since we face them every year. And by average the gap is not that significant for them, just the number of players signed.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

In addition to UK coaches having Ohio-connections and deploying an Ohio-strategy, I wonder if JT being gone is a minor factor as well. 
JT's recruiting approach emphasized Ohio more heavily than Urbz's does. If JT's typical in-state haul was something like 16 Ohio kids to Urbz's 12, then JT's full dossier on Ohio kids (including kids not offered scholarships) was proportionally larger as well. JT had a cozy "gentlemen's" relationship with many other Big Ten coaches (some of whom eventually thanked him by stabbing him in the back). Well, maybe JT helped steer some kids who weren't receiving OSU offers to other Big Ten schools?

BuckeyeRick's picture

Interesting point.

NitroBuck's picture

Why not?  Woody always said he was Notre Dame's best recruiter.  He didn't like losing recruits to ND or TTUN, but if he wasn't going to get them, he'd rather not have to play against them.

Ferio, tego

otrain2416's picture

Ten is a pathetic recruiting conference. There are no go getter coaches aside from Meyer, Franklin, and Hoke. Dantonio just seems to have woken up and did better this year. Northwestern and Indiana recruited well for not being known as football schools. Any school not mentioned did not recruit well and its sad. 

Barnsey69's picture

It doesn't surprise me that this happened. As the author mentions, playing in the SEC is a better sales pitch right now. The solution is winning more as a conference, and particularly in December and January. 

I am a modern-art masterpiece.

gumtape's picture

also kentucky fan:

just another psycho, irrational, delusional Ohio St fan

+2 HS
Deadly Nuts's picture

*basketball

LEBRON

NitroBuck's picture

More Kentucky fans:

Ferio, tego

roamingbuckeye's picture

Kentucky football finally discovered how close it is to Ohio.

well, it was going to happen sooner or later...

"I just cant wait to play football." -UFM

Whoa Nellie's picture

lol
OK, who's been smuggling maps to them?

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

740Bucks's picture

who knew they could read maps?

"My idea of a good hit is when the guy wakes up on the sidelines with train whistles blowing in his head." - Jack Tatum

DannyBeane's picture

Who knew they could read?

+1 HS
740Bucks's picture

touché Beane!

"My idea of a good hit is when the guy wakes up on the sidelines with train whistles blowing in his head." - Jack Tatum

gumtape's picture

This class will mostly be defined by Drew Barker. If he blows it up and turns into Tim Couch (the college version), then Kentucky has every ingredient to become a mid-tier SEC contender.

just another psycho, irrational, delusional Ohio St fan

740Bucks's picture

"Kentucky's recruiting class would rank as the third best of the Big Ten, two spots behind Michigan for second-best. It was the tenth best of the SEC."
 
THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE!! The B1G needs to become THE destination. 
 
Something I'm curious about... Tennessee signed 33+ kids. Are these kids aware that it could be them getting the boot next year if they under-perform?

"My idea of a good hit is when the guy wakes up on the sidelines with train whistles blowing in his head." - Jack Tatum

Crumb's picture

An old joke that runs in my family, Ohio is a very green state because when birds fly south for the winter they fly upside down over michigan and Kentucky cause there ain't anything in those states worth crapping on.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

JohnnyKozmo's picture

I believe Rivals only counts the top 18-20 players in each class towards it's class rankings.  So signing 29 or 33 doesn't guarantee you of a higher ranking.  It may be more likely, because a school takes more kids, they have a better chance at getting 18-20 high quality recruits, but I'll gladly take the 23 tOSU got over 29 of Kentucky's or 33 of Tennesee's everyday.  

tennbuckeye19's picture

Scout only counts the top 25 players. Rivals looks at the top 20 rated players. Not sure about 247. ESPN just makes stuff up.

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

247 is a composite of the 3 services.... Based on those numbers listed 5-7 Big10 schools would not have met the 20-25 players that Scout and Rivals rate.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
ghalephoto's picture

I firmly believe the reason the SEC does so well in recruiting is simple.  Weather, kids do not want to play in the Snow Bowl.  They don't want the 3 yards and face full of ice.  They want perfect weather on perfect fields so they can excel.  If the SEC teams ever played a Big Ten team in November away from the SEC, they would not be competitive.    Yet every year we travel to play an SEC team in a Bowl against an SEC team that never traveled out of the tri-state area.  Its easy to run a 4.40 for a guy who is used to the heat Vs a guy doing it in Nov. in Ohio. 

Furious George 27's picture

I will respectfully disagree as far as the weather goes... If anything you can sell that if you want to play in the NFL you are going to have to play in bad weather. I think OSU only played in 2-3 games that it was below 50 degrees. The edge is the SEC has ESPN over hyping every team in their conference which basically makes it easy for coaches to sell recruits especially so with their tv deal. I wasn't a business major, but I think it would be a bad idea to bad mouth a conference you just made a deal with.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

Ice and snow are almost never a factor in Big Ten football. The snow at the Indiana game this season was the most the Buckeyes have played in for several decades, at least.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Average high/low for Sep/Oct/Nov in Columbus:  77/57, 65/45, 53/36
Average high/low for Sep/Oct/Nov in Lexington:  79/58, 68/47, 55/37

There is very little weather advantage for Kentucky during football season.  I do see that Columbus gets about twice as much snow per year as Lexington, though.

Class of 2010.

D-Day0043's picture

Kentucky's little recruiting fad will end. They are absolutely terrible. They are can't beat Western Kentucky University bad and that isn't going to improve much over the next few years. Ohio State has nothing to worry about. Kentucky at their best will never be more than a 8 win team.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

BuckeyeRick's picture

8 wins might even be a stretch...

jamesrbrown322's picture

I think the point of this article, and I could be wrong, is that the 2nd or 3rd worst team in the SEC is much more appealing to 17 and 18 year old kids who know nothing of anyone outside of the SEC and FSU winning national championships, and unfortunately this is true.
I know this is an unpopular view, but the facts are what they are. The population is shifting south, and the SEC is winning. They have a network, ESPN, that markets for them, and right now it is much much more desirable to play in the SEC than it is the BigTen, ACC, or Big 12.
This is not a problem for OSU, scUM, PSU, or maybe even MSU, but it is indeed a poblem for schools like Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, and the like, which needed Ohio recruits to remains relevant, or at least competitive. This fad may only last as long as Stoops is at UK, before moving on to a better job. However, the fact of the matter remains that Kentucky had one of the SEC's worst recruiting classes, which still landed them in the top 25. The BigTen had 3 top 25 recruiting classes.
If the rest of the conference wants respect, it starts on the recruiting trail. PERIOD.

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

Furious George 27's picture

UK made it into the top 25 mainly because they signed 5-6 more players than the average school.... Illinois, Minny and Purdue signed 20 or less. Give them 9-13 more 3* recruits and jump significantly.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Everybody talks about how the Purdue's and Illinois' and Indiana's and Minnesota's need to "step up their recruiting," but what exactly are they supposed to do? Offer them cars and cash? Ask a second tier kid from Ohio without offers from OSU or TTUN if he'd rather play for Kentucky or Ole Miss in the SEC(where the weather is a little warmer[it's -5 right now in Toledo]), or Indiana, and I think the answer is obvious. This problem isn't going away. I really don't see what the Indiana's and Illinois' can do. It's a bad situation, and I don't see it getting better. Delaney can stand on top of the Sears Tower and scream, "Step up your recruiting, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, etc.," but it isn't going to change anything. Oh wait, the B1G added Maryland and Rutgers. That should help.

 

 

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

Lets be honest here, the Big10 schools mentioned went on and signed the next 3* recruit which was probably just as good as the kid that went to UK. Until the SEC curbs oversigning players, no middle to lower tier team will be able to compete

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

Jeeves's picture

Evidently getting a far better education from the Big Ten schools is of no interest to these types of recruits. Or perhaps the Big Ten schools don't bother recruiting some of these future sec players knowing they won't be able to handle the academic load. 

+1 HS
WildMan Leather and Lace's picture

The B1G needs to change its recruiting rules and allow over-signing.  It sucks but clearly it can't compete without playing by the same rules as everybody else.  Or the NCAA needs to streamline the recruiting rules for all conferences

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-1 HS
Jeeves's picture

I saw the picture at the top and thought John Caparulo was coaching Kentucky now and Ohio was losing its comedic talent to the sec!

I wonder if part of the problem these days is that so many of these recruits actually think they have a future in the NFL and see the sec as their only option? I would be curious to know what the percentage of Div.I recruits making a career in the NFL is?

 

buckskin's picture

We all know the real reason they got those kids down there is free Basketball tickets.

buckskin's picture

We all know the real reason they got those kids down there is free Basketball tickets.

chirobuck's picture

come to Kentucky where the only bowl game you will see is on your TV

 
^ best post ever ^

SEC Fan's picture

 

Kentucky is not the problem or the bad guy.  Ohio produces on average 150 D1 football recruits per year.  Give Ohio State and Michigan the first 25 players and that still leaves 125 quality players.  Both OSU and Michigan seem to have gone national rather than their usual regional recruiting dominance.  After Kentucky takes 10 players, there are still 115 players left for other schools.  If the 10 players KY took were spread  to   remaining Big 10 teams it would equate to one roster player per team, hardly a difference.  The Big 10 has been complacent and old school for too long.  I do not read about the constant upgrade of practice facilities in the Big 10.  As a perennial door mat, Kentucky is spending 45 million to upgrade  their practice facility and are rebuilding their stadium. 

I would love to see Purdue, Indiana and others upgrade their programs but until they do Kentucky and others will recruit Ohio.  Kentucky will never take away a player that Ohio State wants but can survive nicely with the remaining 125 players in Ohio.  During Joker Phillip's tenure, KY averaged around 2.3 stars per player.  This year the average is around  3.3 stars.  It will take KY 2 more years to be competitive in the SEC but this recruiting class is certainly a start. In addition to the 28 signed, KY has at least 4 transfers from D1 schools   who will become eligible to play in 2014.  All were from Ohio, all were highly recruited.  Whine if you want, complain if you must but the Big 10 needs to become the Big 10 again and not the Big 2 with 10 ugly step-sisters.

 

SEC Fan