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The problems the B1G face compared to the SEC start with oversigning and cutting dead weight. Teams had the most fertile recruiting grounds and were signing an extra class every 4-5 years.
The next problem is coaching and pay.
Next is the decline of Penn St and TTuN the past decade. Even before the scandal, each was a shadow of itself. It started when Carr started going through the motions in 2000-2001 and JoePa lost his edge in the late 90s.
Finally it is QB play. The B1G just can't seem to recruit and develop QBs. The MAC has done a better job in recent years.
The PAC and BiG 12s have done a much better Job finding quality QBs.
When the B1G plays in these bowl games, the QB not speed always is the difference. Look at last nights' MSU-TCU game. The Spartans were better at defense and running but awful at QB. MD had to put the backup in for the last drive to win the game.
Oversigning isn't the reason the SEC is good... The league is solid because of their dedication to paying their coaches and the talent pool from which they draw from. There's a reason everyone recruits in the southeast; and it isn't because it's easy. It's not easy. But just being able to pull a defensive lineman or two from Florida or Georgia or Louisiana can be the difference on someone's roster..I am not disgruntled because the SEC oversigns..I am disgruntled because the Big10 does not oversign..At times I think Jim Delaney and the Big10 is more content in being "the wealthest conference in college sports" instead of demanding to the best on the football field.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by gessig on 12/30/2012 at 11:40 AM
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I don't think QB play is all that important. Alabama hasn't had a truly stellar QB since...I can't even remember. Hell the SEC in general isn't known for their QB play, at least not to the degree of conferences like the Big 12 and the Pac 12. I think the absolute biggest contributing factor for the B1G's decline is coaching.
Penn State - O'Brien was a decent hire given their circumstances but Joe Pa hurt them immensely by not A) retiring earlier and B) turning in Sandusky when he had the chance
Michigan - Hoke is decent but Michigan should of backed the BRINKS truck up to get John Harbough
Nebraska - Needs a new defensive coordinator
Wisconsin - Should of thrown a large pile of cash and young co-eds at Petrino and told to stay of motorcycles for a few months
Illinois - No reason this program can't become what South Carolina is now.
Purdue - Made a good hire with Hazell imo.
Michigan State - Dantonio is doing a hell of a job. Spary was due for a down year after two back to back 11 win seasons. They'll be fine once their receivers learn how to catch.
Minnesota - Should of hired Mike Leach.
Indiana - Probably as good as they're going to be.
Iowa - Definitely as good as they're going to be under Ferentz. They were horrible this year but this is a team not far removed from a BCS bowl win.
Northwestern - Definitely as good as they're going to be under Fitzgerald.
This post was edited by Systems_id on 12/30/2012 at 11:56 AM
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Using that time frame you are probably correct but I don't believe that to be the case historically. tsun and Minnesota won a number of NC's up through the 60's, MSU won several in the 70's. Illinois had some good teams until they started getting into trouble with the NCAA in the 80's and Purdue was decent up until the late 60's. I believe from the 20's through the late 70's, the B10 was probably the best conference in football but struggled mightily in the early 80's through the mid 90's.
The Big Ten declinism argument has reached a fever pitch of late, but it's really old news. The conference has had 3 championship seasons since '67. The conference has had 4 undefeated teams during that time (2012 OSU is the lack of overlap). Tressel's Buckeyes were the only program to field very, very successful teams for just under a decade. Not just getting to BCS bowls but winning them with some degree of regularity. The Big Ten has not produced consistently elite teams since the '70s. OSU had a chance by playing in 3 title games, but didn't get the job done. So if the Big Ten hasn't won big with regularity for over three decades, what am I missing here with regard to decline?
The storyline about the Big Ten being a paper tiger is old and hackneyed. It's for lazy journalists and bloggers and a network with an axe to grind against the Big Ten. The fact that the Big Ten has struggled in bowl games of late is a fact. But who in the Midwest was thumping their chests and predicting great success? Or that the conference was superior to others? In order to be a paper tiger the conference must have been assumed to be the best on a consistent basis. I simply can't remember a choir of journalists or talking heads doing so in the past 20 years or more. So what's the surprise here? Why is the SEC shocking the world and toppling a feeble giant?
Just lazy journalism and punditry repeating the same mantra so many times that it has become fact in the eyes of many. Pathetic.
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