I'm not sure that the two things are entirely incongruent as it is not so much that Tressel's recruiting was "second rate" (there wasn't much difference between the teams in ranking in that time) but that he got the players he needed to succeed in his system. I do not like Tressel on an ethical level (see Smith, Troy or Clarett, Maurice etc.) but I respect that he knew what he wanted to do on the field, how he wanted his teams to play and the sort of talent he required in order to make that happen. I don't think the "indiscretions of the program" exclusively made the program a winner for the past decade ...you have to give some credit to Tressel, his staff and the players. That said, it was definitely a bonus that he got some compensated high performance players (Clarett comes to mind) and that kind of player put him in National title consideration etc.. Certainly, he does not beat 'the U', for example, without that sort of paid player.
In the current scenario, Hoke was outrecruited this past year by Meyer by any objective measure. The distance between the teams in terms of talent is not very significant, however and the players that Hoke is getting fit what he and Greg Mattison on defence and Al Borges on offense are looking for that fit their vision. This isn't the Sparty "coach em up" argument...Hoke is getting high four stars and so is Meyer...there is a small statistical variance between the programs and not all players are recruited by both programs so the comparison is skewed in some ways.
At the end of the day, Tressel did a very good to borderline exceptional job identifying the talent he needed for his systems and coaching them. The "indiscretions" of your program took what otherwise would have been a very good team (but one that would have lost more often...and to Michigan) and won a National Title with Clarett etc.
On the plus side we can agree we both don't like Tressel.