Michigan's Geographical Disadvantage
It has long been my contention (& I think that few will disagree) that the 5 hot bed states for prep talent are FL, CA, TX, OH and PA. Therefore, I feel that universities in those states could probably sign only players from thier own states (if they really had to) and still compete at the upper level. For supporting data, I use Scout's 2010 final recruiting team ranking and stats. I list in this order: State, University, final ranking, # of 5 stars signed from within their own state, and # of 4 stars signed from within their own state. For example: MI, UM, 12/1/2 (UM finished ranked 12 in the nation with 1 in state 5* signee and two in state 4* signees.
The 5 Hot Bed States
FL - Florida 1/2/9, FSU 10/3/5, Miami 17/0/3.
TX - Texas 3/4/13, Texas A&M 25/1/3
CA - USC 5/3/8, UCLA 8/1/10, Stanford 24/0/2
PA - Penn St 9/2/5, Pitt 16/0/3
OH - OSU 20/1/4
These 5 states put 11 teams in the final top 25 (MI put only 1). Of the 11 teams which finished higher ranked than UM, 6 were from the hot bed states. Those 6 averaged 2.5 5* from within their own states and 8.3 4* (this compares to UM's previously mentioned one 5* and two 4*). MSU was also one 5*&two 4*. Also, teams from those 5 states have won 7 out of the last 10 BCS Championships. Clearly, just winning the in state battle with MSU isn't going to be enough to be in the upper tier of schools. There usually are not enough in-state 5&4 star players to fill a class. The recruiting task becomes even harder when you consider the type of player that RR is looking for to run his O and D. Finally, OH is the only near-by state for UM to easily draw from, whereas Oklahoma has TX, Alabama, Auburn&LSU have nearby FL and WSU (edit: Washington) has CA. Considering all of that, JOB WELL DONE, RR and staff. I can't wait to see how the classes look when we are coming off of winning seasons.