The B1G Decline

onetwentyeight's picture
January 2, 2012 at 5:34p

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: )

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. 

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LABuckeye's picture

I agree with your points about the decline of northern schools. It's almost like you wrote about something based on downloading and researching my mind... except for the leaving the B1G part. I'm not there yet.

bucknut24's picture

Wow it's funny you mention OSU going independent because that is the same thing I have been thinking since Urban was hired.  He is in tight with ESPN, notice how they don't talk bad about OSU anymore, and the ESPN TV contracts will be up for the Big 10 in the 2015/16 which by then Urban will have this team rolling so the Big 10 will be a one team conference.  OSU's market value will be off the hook.  They offered Texas who is tops in the Big 12 and who makes the most money so why not OSU?

The Vest-er's picture

Ramzy I think debunked this a long time ago on this site. Football is good where there is a premium placed on it. Schools will pay to bring in coaches that win, ensure facilities are up to date, and that will attract recruits. Why does sUK continue to be good at bball? It's not due to weather or quality of coeds. They have decided that bball is their sport. Why is Oregon good at Foosball lately? They have pumped a bunch of money into the program. The B1G needs to start paying their coaches and stop trying to find bargain basement deals. I personally could give two squirts of urine if the rest of the B1G is any good, as long as the bucks win.

Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

onetwentyeight's picture

(First off, Thanks everyone for commenting)


I'm aware of how the B1G teams dont pay their asst. coaches anywhere near what the mid-tier SEC teams do, etc. And my point wasn't that weather and all that stuff was the determining factor, I was trying to say (probably unsuccessfully) that the stuff I brought up usually gets ignored when it matters a lot in addition to (quality of coaching, etc). Like I said, things like coaching and academics may be important to us, but it'd be naive to ignore the fact that most recruits probably also choose schools for reasons that are less noble. 

So if the B1G schools have stronger academics than the SEC schools, generally, and SEC teams shell out more money for quality assistants, it still doesn't explain fully the discrepancy in talent. This is what I was trying to say above. I doubt every single recruit is basing their choices on facilities and coaching. 

Look at Miami. Horrible facilities, haven't had a decent coaching staff there for almost a decade, but because its in the most talent-rich area of the country and because its in a glamorous city, they have inherent advantages when it comes to recruiting. 

Your point of Oregon is very valid, and I thought of them beforehand which is why I tried to steer this away from another "North/South" argument. I tried to make the point of focusing on the B1G versus /other/ schools. 

Would it help if schools like Minny or Purdue decided to place a "premium" on football ? Sure. They'd improve, probably drastically. But why do you think they haven't? It's a cost-benefit analysis, IMHO. At one point in their history, Minny DID place a premium on football. But for a while now schools in the B1G have realized that they have a limited ceiling as a football power regardless of how much money they pour in (I remember reading on a BSD thread once how they all realized that their ceiling in the B1G was 8-9 wins a year on average and that they felt Joepa and the PSU staff had realized this and so had not bothered to spend/recruit nat'lly on the level of some other schools). 

I guess maybe it's not just money, it's when is spending that money a worthwhile investment. A school in the B1G could spend the same on facilities, coaching staffs, etc as an SEC school but the SEC (or other warm weather) school would still have additional, inherent advantages due to weather, reputation, etc all that stuff I talked about eariler. 

The Vest-er's picture

This is the post I referenced. I think you are correct about the cost benefit analysis. Minny and purdont have determined it's easier to catch lighting in a bottle in bball where one player can carry a team than divert all its resources to fball. This is what ole miss/miss st do.

My overall feeling is that if Ohio State completely sold out and cut their athletic dept to 22 scholarship sports (like most of the sec schools) and diverted the money back into the football team, we would have a staff that would be a voltron force in which Jon gruden would be a lowly qb coach (not really). OSU will not do that and I'm cool with that. Despite what we believe, fball isn't the reason OSU exists.

Appreciate the reply.

Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

jmoody's picture

Am I the only one that has noticed that the Big Ten is almost always the lower ranked team in their bowl games? We should have bad bowl records if were always getting unfavorable matchups. Find me one bowl game where the Big Ten was the higher ranked team this year. Now find me games where the SEC is the lower ranked team. Alabama doesn't count.

"Did you push yourself to be great today? If you didn't do it you lost a day. We ain't got many days to lose. We're going to push your a$$ like its never been pushed because what you've got in you were going to find out" UFM

aznchipmunk's picture

Outside of the fact that "rankings don't matter much"

I think it--the fact that SEC teams are ranked higher vs their B1G opponents--goes to show that SEC teams tend to be better ranked. I feel that the B1G is destined for failure (if we really do suck that much, and the SEC is really that great) Aren't some of these bowl games set-up for B1G to lose? i.e. Gator bowl matching Big Ten No. 5 team vs SEC No. 5 team, or something like that.

I'm too lazy to actually check, but I'm sure this year (despite the fact that SEC is having a down year outside of Bama/LSU) SEC teams are on average higher rankred than B1G schools.

Go Bucks! Roll-Tide!

Kurt's picture

Certainly doesn't account for everything, but yes, off the top of my head I think the last few year's there have been some big mis-matches for B1G teams.  NW I feel has been getting the agonizing brunt of it - Mizzou a few years ago, Auburn after that then A&M this year...they were overmatched in all. 

poop's picture

As a consolation, they do have a degree from Northwestern rather than Mizzou, Auburn or A&M.

johnblairgobucks's picture

ESPN, rankings, location had nothing to do with OSU going 6-7.  Everyone who thinks Urban will get OSU into the top 5 soon, if he does, better appreciate the effort it is going to take to change OSU's on field mentality.  The roster has little depth...... Shazier no way starts if OSU had any quality linebackers. 

ThirdLegLouie's picture

"Shazier no way starts if OSU had any quality linebackers. " Couldn't disagree more. SHZR's speed gives him a dimension that most LBs don't have, regardless of depth, there's no way you can say he wouldnt' have a shot to start/make plays. 

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

johnblairgobucks's picture

We all have our opinions.  Shazier did well for himself, as a true freshman.  He also had trouble reading some plays and ran himself out of alot of plays by over pursuing.  Since OSU camped itself out in BCS games throughout the 2000's do you mind telling me which OSU BCS team you think Shazier would have started on.  I know that wasn't my original statement, but just saying in a "normal year"  Shazier either redshirts or earns his PT as special teams demon.

Bucksfan's picture

I agree with Vest-er.  The B1G schools have been running their football programs the way Mike Brown runs the Bengals.  Even Gene Smith once accused the SEC for artificially inflating the price of assistant coaches (an accusation that makes zero sense to anyone with 1/4 of a brain).

cplunk's picture

Nah, calm down. People are overreacting. THe only thing that has happened is that Ohio State and Michigan are down. Everybody else is the same.

Take the SEC and replace LSU with another Florida (that's OSU) and replace Alabama with a team that is not bad but has a fraudulently high record, let's say Georgia Tech (that's Michigan). Now look at your SEC and its almost exactly what the B1G has right now.

The problem is people are thinking Michigan State and Wisconsin have improved. They haven't. If Ohio State and Michigan return to normal, then Wisconsin is your Arkansas and Michigan State is your Georgia. 

The B1G isn't down- Michigan and OSU are down. That's it. And Fatboy has started Michigan on the right path and I have faith in Urban. 

Relax. Let ESPN and everybody trash talk because right now we deserve it. When we get our top two teams back, we won't have to hear it anymore.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'll ask only one quick (rhetorical) question, since Ramzy previously dealt with this issue in depth: What evidence do we have that 3+ star players leave the MW region to play in other regions (including those in warmer climates) compared to players leaving other regions?

Obviously, every program tries to recruit players out of Florida, so large numbers of players end up leaving that state and/or region to play elsewhere, including in colder climates.

Conversely, Ohio State and PSU respectively have been relatively successful at keeping their best players at home. How many Chicago-area players end up playing in the SEC? Etc.

I'd add that most of the SEC schools have pretty much maxed-out their potential cfb resources. If the BT schools ever got really serious about football, I think you'd see that weather is not that big of a factor, IMO . . .  

M Man's picture

lol.  Since The Ohio State University became a basketball school, I think a few of you have lost your minds.  (Not, by any means, all of you.  Most of the commenters are rightly urging deep breaths.)

With all due respect, I offer one suggestion to our great rival: Re-hire Rick Bay (who famously resigned in protest over the firing of Earle Bruce) as your AD.  I can't think of a candidate who has more integrity.  And dedication to first principles; doing everything the right way, doing it better than anyone else.


NC_Buckeye's picture

Hey M Man, so we're supposed to replace an ND grad with a Michigan grad. (And yes I realize he was already the AD in Columbus from 84-88.)

Rick is currently working on writing three books. The first, entitled The High Road Leads Out of Town: My Wondrous Life as a Sports Executive, is an entertaining memoir of Rick’s colorful career as an executive at the highest level of professional and college sports.  The other works, entitled Michigan Days: 20 Years a Wolverine recount his two decades in Ann Arbor as a Wolverine student-athlete, coach and administrator, and Confessions of a Coach's Son, is a memoir about growing up in Waukegan, Illinois.  Both works are awaiting publication.

Here's a novel idea. How about we get an Ohio State grad to lead our Athletic Dept?

M Man's picture

I think it would be GREAT discussion.

Who would you nominate?  And I don't even want to limit you, or others to just one name.  But let's work with OSU grads.  Whom would you suggest?

William's picture

Archie Griffin.

M Man's picture

Are you mixing up your understandable love for a great player and a great guy with a huge heart, for a top executive?

USC tried Mike Garrett in that role.  It was an unmitigated disaster. 

You guys had a great AD once.  Not just a great AD, but quite likely the best AD in the country during his tenure.  I am of course speaking of Andy Geiger.  THAT should be your model.  With all due respect to the great Archie.

Doc's picture

Completely agree.  Geiger is the standard we should look for.  Having Archie step into that role could only taint his legacy.  As a University we shouldn't want that to happen to him under ANY circumstances.  Let #45 run the Alumni Assoc. where he can shake babies and kiss hands.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

M Man's picture

How about an AD search committe, consisting of Archie, Geiger, Bob Knight, Rick Bay and Chris Spielman?  (If it were my committee, I'd put Herbstreit on it too but that's just me.)  Michael Adams, the current President at the University of Georgia is an OSU guy if I am not mistaken; so is Phil DiStefano, President at Colorado.  Now that's a Blue Ribbon search committe!  Go Blue!

faux_maestro's picture

Andy Geiger was a terrific AD. I believe though that Archie might not be the "unmitigated disaster" that Mike Garrett was. He has lead the Alumni Association for years now and was previously an associate athletic director under Geiger.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

NC_Buckeye's picture

A cursory search of tOSU Sports Management alumni yielded this list:

• John Allen, Chief Operating Officer, Cincinnati Reds
• Randy Buhr, NCAA, Assistant Director of Championships
• Robert Chaddock, Maramor Brands, VP Administration & Operations
• Joe Cobb, Miami University (OH), Director of Marketing
• Randy Eaton, University of Maryland, Associate AD for Business
• Dave Eyl, SFX Sports Group, Vice President of Marketing
• Mark Galuska, Columbus Clippers, Director of Marketing
• Cara Gizzi, The Walt Disney Company, Radio Disney, Senior Account Supervisor, National Multi-Market Promotions
• Bob Goldring, Ohio High School Athletic Association, Director of Communication
• Sara Griffin, University of Southern California Athletic Department, Director of Compliance
• Dr. Mary Hums, University of Louisville, Professor, Sports Administration
• Paul Krebs, Bowling Green State University, Assistant VP for Student Affairs & Director of Athletics
• Kelly Link, Harvard University, Manager of Athletic Events
• Phil Reich, PGA Tour, Director of Marketing

John Allen, Randy Buhr, Randy Eaton, Sara Griffin, Mary Hums, Paul Krebs, and Phil Reich would all be legitimate prospects IMO.

btalbert25's picture

John Allen would be great, in fact to be honest, I didn't even realize he was still with the Reds.  Used to see him all the time on TV locally giving updates on the team but now it seems like any time anything is talked about it's Bob or Phil Castellini who does it.

Doc's picture

I don't think it matters where the school is located.  I can't believe Tuscaloosa(sp?) or wherever the hell LSU is is some sort of destination where beautiful co-eds walk around half naked.  They have winning coaches and programs.  OSU had this in the early to mid 2000's too.  Winning cures everything.  Let Urban loose on the B1G for a few seasons and he'll have the talent stockpiled just like the top tier SEC "schools".

The B1G does suck.  Plain and simple.  AACC is over rated.  They barely beat our crappy team at home.  Wisky lost to our crappy team on the road.  We had Nebraska down bye three td's.  Sparty took everything they had to beat us in an UGLY road win.  IU took us to the wire at home.  Purdue barely beat a shitty MAC team.  Minny is awful.  Iowa is Iowa.  Let's see what Beckman does at Illinois.  PSU, well we'll give them a pass.  Who in this list is going to get any better.  Hopefully we will, but everyone else is as good as they are going to get.  I'm not suggesting leaving the B1G, but it might not be the worst idea.

We will be perceived as the bully on the block beating up our retarded neighbors for their lunch money and moon pies.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

btalbert25's picture

Two factors that matter a lot are how far the school is from home and the coach.  Ohio State retains a ton of great talent from Ohio and regionally because it's close to where the kids came from.  The coach has the ability to make Ohio State a destiniation for kids from far away.  If weather were really a huge factor and women too, The So Cal schools would all be powerhouses.  Tuscaloosa doesn't exactly have terrific winters.  To be sure, some places in warmer climates are awesome.  Who wouldn't enjoy being a college student in a city like Austin Texas?

Urban Meyer is a coach kids are going to want to come from Texas, Florida, Georgia, Up East, California, AZ, and anywhere else to play for.  He wins games and gets teams to championships.  His star players always get a lot of publicity.  Alex Smith had the Urban love fest on TV before Tebow did.  many of the great Gator players were talked about a lot.  Play for Urban and you will get hype and you have a great shot at ending up in the NFL.  Kids know it, and they want to play for him.

Other schools have that potential, but they have to open up the wallet and bring in some coaches.  Michigan doesn't benefit from a great high school football talent base, they are close to Ohio which does, and for years they were able to recruit from other states as well.  Nebraska has always done well outside of it's borders as well.  Not all the schools will be able to put together what Ohio State and Michigan can, but the capability is there for many of the B1G schools to be solid programs.  A lot of it is on the institutions themselves.  They have to spend the money to keep up with the rest of college football, and if any conference has money, its the B1G.

M Man's picture

I don't think it matters where the school is located.  I can't believe Tuscaloosa(sp?) or wherever the hell LSU is is some sort of destination where beautiful co-eds walk around half naked. 

Two things.

1.  Louisiana State University is in Baton Rouge.

2.  This:


Thank you.  And with that, I rest my case, Your Honor.

Doc's picture

Baton Rouge  or Bayou Labatrie it is still Louisiana.  And one photo doesn't make your case.  A few years back I saw an even prettier young lady with OSU painted on her "assets".  Plus the fact that photo was taken in 2007, she prolly has more kids than teef now.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

ArTbkward's picture

"Baton Rouge is still in Louisiana"  EXACTLY 

Louisiana has one of the highest rates of both poverty (5th) and obesity (6th) in America, so obviously not all the ladies look like the one above .  They also have mosquitoes the size of birds and absolutely awful humidity.

The SEC battles both of those things in most of their states, bringing in TX and MO will help both of those stats for the conference.

Poorest: 1st- MS, 2nd- AR, 3rd- TN, 5th- LA, 7th- SC, 8th-KY, 9th- AL

Most obese: 1st- MS, 2nd- AL, 4th- TN, 5th- KY, 6th- LA, 8th- SC, 9th- AR

Not that recruits care about statistics but it does indicate that these may not be the most desirable places to live. 

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

don't let that paint fool you..that beer belly is well on its way...that girl right there is just a big ol slut..and that is hot to all of us b/c it combines nudity w/ sports..doesn't really matter what the girl looked like (don't take that statement to the extreme bc i can just imagine the pictures that would surface)

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

let alone the fact she looks a weathered "32yrs" in the face lol

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

GhostofWoody's picture

I don't know why I'm posting this, but I can't believe someone hasn't said "Hold That Tiger!", but I digress.  Buckeye Nation needs to get over the '11 season and move on.  Sometimes change is uncomfortable and we're experiencing that now.  It may take Urban a season or two to get us on track, but if the recruiting stories are any indication of things to come, the next few years should be exciting. 

Adambob's picture

New conference called SSC Super Super Conferene

Ohio State






Notre Dame (just to beat up on)


maybe one or two elite more schools. round robin schedule. tell the ncaa to eff themselves

Ethos's picture

jesus, with a schedule like that every team would be like 6-6 every year

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best