any school and i do mean any, can be competitive if they simply commit the resources to it.
Boise St is a perfect example of that
they didnt even start playing football until the late 60's, but starting in 1970 they built a new stadium, have expanded and upgraded 3 times since then to attract fans and show commitment to the programs when they were still a 1AA team.
in 1997 they hired Houston Nutt as their HC who had been 1AA national coach of the year 2 years prior at Murray St, they immediately got better (going from 2-10 to 5-6), Nutt left for Arkansas and they hired Dirk Koetter, who had been the OC at Oregon for the last 2 years, BC before that and and Missouri going back to the late 80's,
he led them to back to back conference titles in 99 and 2000, and 2 bowl wins, then Dan Hawkins got promoted from within and kept the momentum going, they move up to the WAC and win 4 straight conference titles under hawkins and then Peterson takes over and wins 5 more titles
from 1999 to last year they played and beat, often away from their home stadium the following teams (Washington in 12, ASU and UGA in 11, Va Tech and Oregon St in 10, Oregon and TCU in 09, Oregon in 08, Oklahoma and Oregon St in 06, Oregon St in 04, TCU in 03, Iowa St in 02, Louisville in 99,
all this from a program with no history, mediocre facilities, no recruiting base and little TV
hire the right guy, commit the money and the results will happen.
to not expect success is to court mediocrity
oh yeah and a BTW, last year Boise spent as much or more than the following B1G programs did on their coaching staff, (MSU, Wisky, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, MD, Rutgers, Minny), if your not going to compete with a program like Boise St financially, then you have no hope of competing with the SEC or the top half of the conference year in and out on the field
one last note, UC out spent all those programs too!!! think of that for a while!!!
many B1G ADs simply need fired or are being handcuffed by Presidents who simply dont care to complete