Someone (Bucksfan?) posted in a comment thread about how we've all been saying the B1G will be coming back soon ... for the past half decade... and it got me thinking:
It's not "cyclical" this time around and they arent coming back. The decline of B1G football is a permanent trend and we have to start looking out for ourselves.
Look at all the factors. Does tradition matter? Yes Do coaches matter? Hell yes. But what it all comes down to is where a certain few very talented 18 year old kids decide to go to college. And to us factors such as academics and tradition and whatnot are supremely important so we presume that 18 year old kids have the same mindset. Some of them do. But, I don't know about you guys, when I was 18 my brain worked in a far simpler, narrower way.
Apologize in advance if this is a gross oversimplification, but the first and foremost factor is
1.) Kids just dont wanna go to places where its COLD AND DEPRESSING during LONG stretches of the year. And where the girls aren't as hot (according to perception; we know it's not really true). Hate to say it but if we're all honest with ourselves we would all admit that 18 year old kids will always rather go somewhere warm, sunny with beaches filled with bikinis. That's just how the mind of an 18 year old kid works.
And in today world, where ANY hyped recruit is on a national radar, schools in place like the Mid west don't stand a chance in the long run, over an aggregate amount, when it comes to competing for recruits with places like Florida or California. Back in the heyday of the B1G people recruited through MAILINGS and LETTERS. That shit takes FOREVER. If you were a talented kid in Iowa USC might somehow get word of you and acquire precious little video footage of you. Great. They send you a letter. But your local Iowa HC could come to your house and go up to your doorstep and sit down on your couch to have a chat with you and your parents. That's a huge advantage. Nowdays it's all completely different in our world of texts, twitter, private charter jets, etc. (See: our very own beloved URBZ already stealin' out of state recruits).
2.) The other factor was that back then, the states where B1G schools are located were more populated, and thus producing more talent. There's still tons of talent coming out of the mid west, but since the entire region is declining as a whole it's just not the same amounts. This alone wouldn't be fatal but when you add in the national recruiting part then you can see why. Look at Minnesota: once upon a time they won Nat'l championships. Nowadays they're fielding a barely MAC-level team. No kid from outside of Minny who is highly touted will go within 500 miles of it. ANd look at all the in-state talent that they still manage to produce but leaves (Lil animal, Floyd, etc).
What it comes down to is just an inevitable decline in the state of big ten football. And it is, more or less, tied to the decline of the Mid west. You can ask why this happened and all other questions about it but that doesn't change the fact that it's reality.
If we continue to YOKE ourselves to the B1G and all these sinking schools, we won't have that same flexibilty once the CFB landscape shifts again. Instead of trying to drag these hanger-ons kicking and screaming into the 21st century, we should just leave them behind. Leave the B1G and go independent if we have to. Start a Buckeye Network. Hell I'd be the first to subscribe. We could schedule real teams like USC every year. OSU is a national brand and we have the largest alumni base in all of CFB. (see THIS: http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/the-geography-of-college-foo... )
The rest of the B1G is terrible and trending even more downwards. Go down the list school by school.
Michigan: ok eSECPn says they're "resurgent" this year, but we all know that they AREN'T and if they can't poach recruits from Ohio they're done.
Nebraska: highly touted addition to the B1G turns out to be a Rich Man's ILLINI
PSU: Really? #nuclearcrater
Iowa: lost to Iowa St.
Sparty: They Sparty a lot. And yet this is the golden age of MSU football. Does anybody think they have a higher ceiling than what they are now?
Nerds: belong in the Ivy league or Patriot league
Indiana: just sad. .500 MAC team at best.
PurDONT: (too angry about our losses to them to even type)
Illini: career underachievers
Wisky: feasting on inferior competition by running up points and losing whenever they play anyone who matters. Aren't and will never be nationally "elite".
Minny: Should be put out of their misery.
THESE are the clowns we would be investing our future with. The rest of the B1G combined doesn't touch OSU in terms of what we bring to the table versus what they bring.
The bottom line is that the B1G needs us way more than we need them. It's time to start exploring other long term options.
We've been saying the B1G will be back for more than half a decade. Well people have been saying Notre Dame will be back for more than a decade and a half.
I say we, as Ohio State, should secede from the B1G before it's too late. Or at the very least break off and form our own Network, get our own TV deal, and rule the B1G like TExas does the big12. Texas basically figured out the game eariler than we did (thanks, incompetant dimwits Gee, gene). The Big12 needs texas WAY more than Texas needs the big12. Texas could go to the PAC (and make concessions, but still). They could go independent. Because of this leverage, the Big12 basically bends to their every whim. And when the other big12 schools are of no use to them anymore, they'll cast them aside and hop onto a superconference or go independent or who knows what when a playoff finally arrives. The point is, they have control over their own destiny. Either it's time we decide to take charge of the B1G and make it nat'l relevant again (ie kicking out some schools and adding others), or we begin to put our chips in our own pot (Buckeye Network) and start contigency planning. Because if things stay the way they are heading, soon we'll be stuck in a Big East type scenario.