The recruiting argument against the midwest is complete bullshit. The Big 10 needs to keep a lot of their best players in the region, but the "need" to pull them from the sun-belt states just isn't nearly as pressing as it sounds like. One of the biggest problems for the Big 10 has been that many of it's best players, most notably Mark Ingram, left the area to chase glory down South. Michigan's recent recruiting class success has largely been on locking down the best regional players in Michigan and Ohio. The Buckeye's success under Tressel largely centered around their success bringing in all the top-level talent from Ohio and much of it from Pennsylvania, along with other midwest states.
The Big 10 should certainly pull from the national, and international stage as well, but taking care of your own backyard is still the key... The number of highly-rated players in Alabama not leaving the state is pretty good evidence of that.