So I read the Bucknuts this morning about the rumor that Virginia and Georgia Tech are coming to the B1G.
My first reaction was complete distress because, despite several other scheduling options (one of which I've vehemently bandied about on 11W), I'm sure the B1G will simply set divisions. Worst of all, we'll be jammed in the east. I could easily see us stuck in a division with Georgia Tech, Virginia, Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, and then two minors teams like Purdue and Indiana.
Crap, I thought, Ohio State just joined the ACC.
Then I realized something; One of the reasons often given for the decline of the B1G is that demographics simply mean recruiting isn't what it used to be in the midwest. So I looked up the top ten states for recruiting as far as quantity and quality of BCS signees. Actual data is scarce, but I was able to locate a Rivals ranking by state.
Right now Ohio State plays regularly in two of the top ten recruiting states (#5 Ohio and #6 Pennsylvania).
In the above divisional scenario we'd play regularly in FIVE of the top ten recruiting states (#4 Georgia, #5 Ohio, #6 Pennsylvania, #7 Virginia, and #10 New Jersey). Additionally, we'd be next door to, and probably seen more often on tv in, North Carolina (#9) and Florida (#2).
I know that we've always been able to snag a player or two from just about anywhere nationwide, and that Urban can recruit anywhere in or out of our footprint, but this would be a huge change in our recruiting. A huge change for the better. Heck, adding Georgia alone to our Ohio base and frequent forays into Pennsylvania is huge. Just think about the types of recruits Urban has been competing for in Georgia particularly, plus our occassional Virginia forays (Curtis Grant- step up, please and make me look good here).
Eventually there will be a post-Urban era, and I'd like our next coach to have the largest recruiting footprint possible.
I can easily see a scenario where playing in that type of division, with that recruiting base, pulls Ohio State to a recruiting level the midwest just simply won't be able to match.
As much as I hate the idea of losing some traditional opponents- Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Illinois- I think I'm willing to trade them for Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia Tech in exchange for the better recruiting.
Anyway, that's my early morning thoughts for whatever they 're worth. I'd be interested to hear your opinions.