How can the B1G use all that money (legally and ethically) to improve its teams?

Submitted by M-Dog on September 16th, 2012 at 10:56 AM

The Big Ten is utter poop at this point.  A national embarrassment for a supposedly "elite" conference.  

How can the league use all that money it has to improve its teams?  (Legally and ethically of course, we're not the SEC.)

Is there anything that the Big Ten office can do at all to improve things?  Sooner or later it will catch up with the league if it becomes irrelevant, and that pile of money will disappear.



Champ Kind

September 16th, 2012 at 10:59 AM ^

Hire better coaches.  Spend the money on top level coaches and coordinators.  Ferentz being the highest paid coach for so long lets you know how the league feels on attracting the top talent.


September 16th, 2012 at 11:25 AM ^

Would teams like Michigan and OSU be willing to use league money to help out the lesser schools in the conference even if they could?  I think it would benefit the league as a whole to improve things like the stadiums, weight rooms, etc to enhance recruiting for the lesser schools in the conference. I am not convinced that everyone would be on board though with improving conditions of the teams they recruit against.


September 16th, 2012 at 11:08 AM ^

The B1G is awful right now, but let's keep things in perspective.

As good as the SEC supposedly is, the SEC really just has a few really strong teams at the top of the league and is otherwise meh.  The traditional powers in the B1G (Mich., Ohio, Neb., Penn St.) all have had issues over the past several seasons, which has created somewhat of a vacuum that the Wisconsins and MSUs of the world have been filling.  

I believe the B1G's image will rebound when a couple of the traditional power programs return to dominance.  I don't see that as being very far away.  Obviously Penn State is not returning to glory any time soon and Nebraska could be on shaky ground, but Ohio should do well under Urban and Hoke has already put together a pair of top-10 recruiting classes.  


September 16th, 2012 at 11:22 AM ^

Quite true about the SEC.  Remember when Musburger was going on and on during the Michigan-Alabama game how we would have to wait until the Arkansas game to test Alabama? 

Ohio State is restocking, and Michigan is laying the ground work for an impressive team in the future.  I don't think Nebraska is going to be a powerhouse.  I just don't see it, and Wisconsin likely reached its highest in the past few years.  Penn St. really does hurt the league, though.  They were a team that always got a lot of top recruits.  MSU seems here to stay as a decent team.  

So I do see OSU and Michigan being able to compete at the top level nationally in a few years, with MSU and Nebraska a step or two behind.  The rest of the league, yeah, unless Iowa and Wisconsin and maybe Illinios can step it up, we're looking at a weak rest of the league.


September 16th, 2012 at 6:28 PM ^

What era would we be returning to?  Michigan has won a single national title since the late 1940's.  Ohio State has won a single national title since 1968 and only two since the 1950's.  During the Ten Year War the Big Ten went 1-9 in the Rose Bowl (OSU won an Orange Bowl and Michigan lost one).  It took Tom Osborne 22 years to win a national title at Nebraska.

Part of that is just that winning national titles is hard for anybody, but schools in the midwest just haven't been able to compete with the best teams from the southeast (FSU, Miami, Florida, LSU, and Alabama all have multiple NCs in the last few decades and schools like Tennessee, Clemson, Georgia, and Georgia Tech have won them as well) or the west coast for a long time.

Jim Tressel's teams went 5-3 in BCS bowls, won a national title, and only lost in the national title game twice and to a Texas team that arguably should have been in the national title game.  They were as good nationally as any Big Ten program has been in modern times, yet the "Big Ten is slow/sucks!" talking point was as strong as ever.  So in addition to the difficulties faced, perception is likely always going to be an issue.


September 16th, 2012 at 11:09 AM ^

The member institutions have to put in the facilities and coaching to raise all ships.  

These things are cyclical though; the Pac 10 just got finished sucking and 5 years from now the BIG will be strong and some other "power conference" will be wringing their hands.

Lucky Socks

September 16th, 2012 at 11:17 AM ^

Michigan and Ohio State are in the midst of rebuilding.  I have complete faith that both teams will be legitamate Top 10 players each year once the projects are complete.  MSU and Nebraska look like they'll be perrenial 15-30 teams. Purdue, Iowa, Illinois will take turns being 20-40 range players.  Northwestern?  They're going to keep getting better too. The conference will be fine.  Really a perfect storm of sanctions, scandal, coaching transitions, and talent lull.


Indiana and Penn State are doomed.  


September 16th, 2012 at 8:56 PM ^

Michigan isn't rebuilding.  Coach Hoke has won 81.25% of his games since arriving here.  That's better than everybody we've had since Fielding Yost.  He won a major bowl game in his first season, something it took Bo until year 12 to accomplish.  LSU, Bama, South Carolina, Oregon, Stanford, Ok State (and they just lost to Arizona), and TCU are the only programs with a better record than Michigan since the start of last season.

If we get even better that would be pretty sweet, but the weird perception that we are down in the dumps or that this staff has had to overcome a bunch of insurmountable obstacles is pretty ridiculous. 


September 17th, 2012 at 5:18 AM ^

The following is a really cynical outlook, read at your own risk


I think we are re-building with some fortunate rolls that have gone our way. Yes, there was great success last year, but given the schedule it was not an impossible feat. Our SOS was the 4th weakest in the B1G (ahead of Minnesota, Indiana, and Purdue), with signature wins over a ND team that finished 8-5 and Nebraska, who we legitimately thrashed.

Then luckily we get paired up with the 2nd-best ACC team in the Sugar Bowl. A win is a win, but I was honestly extremely happy that VaTech was our opponent. Given how we struggled against VaTech, I'm not sure if we could have beaten any of the other teams that week (Wisconsin, Oregon, Stanford, OK St., WVU, and Clemson).


September 16th, 2012 at 11:13 AM ^

sucking. AK, picked to challenge LSU and Alabama, lost by worse than us to AL yesterday. ND's move to the ACC this week certainly threw Big Ten woes into relief this week, however, and the national whipping boy effect--already in play for Michigan these last few years--seems to be taking hold for the whole conference. The question of some kind of intervention is not out of place. 


September 16th, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

The Big Ten is poop?

OSU, Undefeated.

Michigan, 2-1, with one loss coming against last year's national champion, by an amount that will look respectable by year's end.

MSU, 2-1, with a loss to an ND team that might be very, very good.

NW, 3-0

Minny, 3-0

Wisky, 2-1, seemed to be starting to find its way on the o-line last night.

Purdue, 2-1 with a tough loss against that same maybe very good ND team.

Nebraska is 2-1, with the kind of thumping a good team should put on poor teams in the first and third game.

Even PSU, just 1-2, looked like PSU in yesterday's game against Navy.

Obviously, glaringly bad B1G teams?

Indiana (and they had a chance to be good if Tre Roberson wasn't hurt)

Illinois (first year under Beckman)

Iowa (fear the AIRBHG!)

So, what's poopy about that? That the Big didn't win much in the way of big OOC matchups this year? Football is just 12 games per year. four quarters. Nothing is guarenteed.



September 16th, 2012 at 11:59 AM ^

This is a pretty delusional post.  Major bcs teams being above .500 3 weeks into the season proves absoulutely nothing about a team being good.  As a MD fan as well i can tell you that they might be 2-1 but are a terrible team.  Wisconsin got shut down by a mediocare pac 12 team and barely scraped by a mediocare utah st team at home, msu put up 17 points on a boise team that lost 9 defensive starters, not exactly an impressive showing. Osu is probably the best team in the league and struggled at home against a mediocare cal team.  Nebraska had the worst defensive performance for them ever against a ucla team most people expect to finish around .500 and Psu beat a terrible navy team.  Also in no way will that alabama score ever look respectful, that is straight loser talk, we got beat by slightly less than a team that lost to lousiana-monroe and had their starting qb out with a concussion so we must be good. The big 10 is trash this year, and you know what? thats probably a good thing for michigan since we certainly aren't a dominate team and i want to go to pasadena this year.


September 16th, 2012 at 1:12 PM ^

I wouldn't consider 25 points to be slightly less. Also, look at the scores from the Alabama games last year. They beat Arkansas by a similar score in September (38-14 instead of 41-14) and Arkansas ended up in the top three later in the season. Obviously the voters did not hold that against Arkansas. Alabama is really, really, ridiculously good and our loss to them doesn't look that bad.


September 16th, 2012 at 2:29 PM ^

Eh. OSU had trouble with UCF for 3 quarters, and trouble with Cal the entire game. Neither of those teams are good. Michigan had trouble with Air Force, MSU got wrecked by ND, Wisky had trouble with an FCS team and Utah State at home, and Nebraska's defense got absolutely torched by UCLA. 


Honestly, Purdue is the only B1G team that hasn't had an embarrasing performance yet. But its non-conference and theres two weeks until the games that matter. 

Space Coyote

September 16th, 2012 at 11:19 AM ^

I think it's just going to take a year or two for some players to grow up. Lots of teams playing lots of young players. Michigan and OSU are recruiting well, MSU and Neb. should at least be solid going forward, Illinois actually has a coach now, Minn had to return from the basement. Penn St down could be pretty bad, but I don't expect the B1G to be continually worse than the ACC and Big East for long, let alone the other conferences. The talent and experience will return.


September 16th, 2012 at 11:30 AM ^

Last place team gets relegated to the ACC.

The B1G is fine. So 3 teams lost games to Pac 12 opponents. All 3 of the play away, and 2 of the losses were by less than a touchdown. If those games were played at home everybody would be saying woe to the Pac12 today.

Perkis-Size Me

September 16th, 2012 at 11:47 AM ^

I think the B1G is getting better in the coaching department. Urban Meyer was a big get, Hoke is proving to be one, too. Dantonio and Bielema are good coaches (yeah, Wiscy sucks this year, but 2 straight Rose Bowls says something), but the conference can get better. Iowa needs to show Ferentz the door at some point. For the absurd amount of money he's getting paid, he's putting mediocre at best products on the field.

For some of the B1G schools, when/if they go on a new coaching search, they need to go all in and hire the best coach they possibly can. If he's worth $4 million/year, pay him that. Whatever gets you closer to national titles. The foundation of your team's success starts with the coaches.

I do think its important to remember, however, that everything is cyclical. Through the 2000s, people were wondering how anyone was ever going to stop USC. Now they've been completely exposed just when people thought they were coming back. People now wonder how anyone is going to stop the SEC. In another decade, people will wonder how some other team/conference can possibly be stopped. If people are worried about the SEC dominating forever, ask yourselves why, if the SEC has so many natural advantages (weather, fertile recruiting grounds), they didn't dominate from the start? Everyone has their time. That's the beauty of football.


September 16th, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

What is wrong with Ferentz?  I still think he's a very good coach.  Iowa doesn't get great talent; they do it with continuity and fundamentals.  He's had staff turnover to deal with recently, and AIRBHG.  Iowa is not the type of program that is going to post 9-win seasons every year.  And if Iowa did get rid of Ferentz, what better coach would they be able to hire?


September 16th, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^

There is a difference in saying Team X was big and now isn't and saying a conference is dominating. Yeah we hear about SEC dominating for 6 years but that was also 4 different teams. That is the difference. Florida is sucking when 5 years ago they were the team to beat. When they stumbled Alabama rose up. When Alabama stumbled Auburn and LSU rose up.

I think one should consider that before just making a blanket statement that nothing is different.

Also not everyone has their time. Of the 120 teams in FBS only 30 have won a poll era championship. There is a clear difference in the haves and the have nots.

I am not saying that the SEC will always have a dominant team but it looks like any time one falls (due to coaching changes, NFL draft, NCAA sanctions) there are other teams that push up to the top. That is in large part because of the structure of the conference. People should try to figure out what is going on in the SEC and then determine if it can sustain.


September 16th, 2012 at 7:44 PM ^

Since 1969 when Bo got here, Michigan has won one national title (and that a split one) and OSU has won one (not giving them credit for claiming one when they lost the Rose Bowl). 

I can't recall another original Big Ten team coming close to winning one in that time period.  Nebraska has won 5 (two split) and PSU has won 2, though all came before joining the Big Ten.  Notre Dame has won 3.

In that same time, Miami has won 5 (only one of them split), Alabama has won 5 (not counting the bullshit one they claim in '73 when they lost their bowl game, only one of them split, though that with a USC team that beat them in the regular season), Florida has won 3 (none shared), Florida State has won 2 (neither shared), and LSU has won 2 (one shared).  Clemson, Auburn, Georgia, and Tennessee have each won one.  Georgia Tech shared one in 1990.  That is 10 different teams that have won at least a share of the national title (remember, that is all U-M has done since the late '40's) from that one part of the country in the last 40+ years.

Outside the southeast, Texas has won 2 (again, not counting one bullshit claim) and Oklahoma has won 4 (one split).  USC has won 5 (though 3 were split).  BYU has won one unanimously.  So has Pitt.  Washington and Colorado have won split titles.  In 2000 UW beat Miami (who then beat Florida State), but was denied a shot at the national title game in favor of the Seminoles due to a loss on the road against 10-2 Oregon and some serious anti-Pac 10 bias (they finished #3 after a Rose Bowl win).  Oregon finished #2 in both polls in 2001 but was denied a shot at Miami and made the national title game in 2010.  ASU would have played FSU for the national title in 1996 under the current system.

The Big Ten has a lot of big schools with very popular teams, but it is hard to argue that we should be taken more seriously on the national landscape in football, given the last four decades of results.


September 17th, 2012 at 2:56 AM ^

Who is out there that a B10 team would throw 4 Mill at??  Kiffen??  Peterson?? Gundy????

No...and it would suck to have Gundy coaching in the B10.

IMO There is not a very large crop of "best coaches" out there. Unless you go really old like Spurrier. This is not like the old days when you could go out and get a Bobby Bowden or Jimmy Johnson to come in for big bucks.  Coaching talent seems to be more homogenized these days.  Not too many cats out there have earned the right for that kind of money. Maybe NFL coach like Cowher or someone...maybe.


September 16th, 2012 at 11:55 AM ^

It's all cyclical. Miami, Washington, Tennessee all use to national powers.

Problem is when you have a few years of good recruiting then you are successful and stocked with blue chips, but it's then hard to get new recruits because they know they won't be able to play. Then in a few years your "cupboard is empty" and you rebuild.

Success also means the loss of coaches to the NFL and other programs.


Steve in PA

September 16th, 2012 at 12:30 PM ^

Was already covered.

OSU- New coach after the old regime was given early retirement and school is on sanction

Mich- Newish coach comes in after 3 of the worst seasons in school history

MSU- Solid, filled the power vaccuum but moving back to mid-pack

Wisc- See MSU, but not as well coached.  Can't recruit Qb's except 1-and-done transfers

Everyone Else except PSU- Up and down with the ability to surprise some

PSU-  Doomed to suck for the better part of a decade

That said, I really enjoy watching the PAC12 channel with all the new coaches especially one that doesn't need mentioned.

I think the comparisons come from the top of the divisions and in historical terms compared to other leagues we are down still.  The B10 mid-pack is as strong as any, but mid-pack isn't something anyone strives to be.


September 16th, 2012 at 12:46 PM ^

Also isnt this pretty much steady state for the B1G. For most of the last half century the little 8 have been embaassingly bad and the big 2 still got whipped in bowls and out of conference. I don't think we were competitive with the top teams in the country year-in and year-out during Bos time either


September 16th, 2012 at 12:50 PM ^

Look at how much talent the big 10 lost last year and in 2010. Ohio State lost Pryor, Herron, Posey and many other playmakers (ignoring off the field problems they were simply a stacked team). Wisconsin lost Wilson. MSU lost Cousin, Worthy, ALL OF THEIR RECIEVERS, their LB in 2010 (forgot his name lol), Iowa lost McNutt, Stanzi, Robinson, Coker, Coulianos, their DE from 2010 (also forgot his name), Rich Rod depleted our defenses between 2008-2010 we are starting to see the lack of playmakers from Rich Rod's classes with Hoke starting to play mostly freshman (Bolden, Ross, Ojemudia, Pipkins).

All in all, the Big Ten lost so much talent in 2010 and 2011 that this year is a rebuilding year for the entire conference. When Michigan and Ohio State's 2012 and 2013 and possibly 2014 classes are most of the players on both of the two teams then the Big Ten will have two solid top ten teams.


September 16th, 2012 at 12:52 PM ^

Honestly, I would say the B1G should just continue on its current trajectory and wait for the SEC to fall back to earth.  If you take the SEC out of the equation, the B1G is as good as any other conference in America once OSU and UM get back on their feet.  USC and Oregon are the only consistent top-notch programs in the Pac 12 (I think Stanford is fine but their success to this degree is not sustainable IME), and Texas and Oklahoma are the only squads in the Big 12 that look to be national contenders.  Sames goes for FSU and (maybe) VT in the ACC, and the Big East plays football, I guess.

The problem the other conferences are running into has to do with how the SEC runs its sporting programs.  They spend lots of money, but only a couple of schools don't oversign (Vandy, Fl, and Ga), and even then you hear stories about Florida under Meyer that make me think he did everything else he could to cut corners.  No conference is perfect and their are bad seeds everywhere, but spending money won't change the competitive imbalance with the SEC.  They have a wealth of local talent, strong school ties, and a management system that holds nobody accountable for trangressions. 

UM could hire an NFL staff, but those coaches can still only recruit 22 kids a year; in the SEC, the average is north of 100 per 4 years.  That is why crappy teams like Mississippi St. and Arkansas all of a sudden got good, and why you don't see that growth at other places.

I do expect the B1G to improve going forward, and this year is just a really bad example of what can happen when the powers at the top are not sustainable (see Wiscy and MSU).


September 16th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

It's Alabama and LSU. The rest of the SEC is pretty much on par with the Big Ten. Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, TN are about the same as Michigan, MSU, Ohio, Wisconsin, etc.


Don't think otherwise, the vaunted rest of the SEC has scored a grand total of 3 touchdowns against Alabama in over a year.


The SEC has three teams that have dominated. Two were built by Saban, the other was built by Urban Meyer with the help of Mattison, both of whom are now in the Big Ten. 


September 16th, 2012 at 4:15 PM ^

Saban left LSU in 2004 so while he put things in place (higher funding to start) it is hard to say that LSU's current success is due to Saban. Feel free to give the 2007 LSU MNC to Saban but current success is not that.

I agree that currently it is UA and LSU but the difference is when there is a down year there is another SEC school that seems to be ready to pop up the way Auburn did in 2010. They are an 8-5 team that suddenly jumped up for a perfect season and an MNC.

I think there is something to how the SEC tries to ensure that there are always a couple of teams at the top (LSU/UF then UF/UA then UA/AU and currently UA/LSU).


September 16th, 2012 at 5:42 PM ^

Meh...before Saban showed up LSU wasn't a National Power. They had had a few good years here and there, but before Saban showed up they had won 10 conference titles, and 1 National Title. He built the program from mediocre to great, and then Miles has continued it. But without Saban, LSU is still an 8-win team every year.

As for "teams popping up"...well a lot can happen when you pay Cam Newton to join your team. Looking at their record before and after, we see them for what they are, a second-tier team. With Florida, Urban Meyer just took the great players Zook has recruited, and didn't Zook up the place


September 16th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

First, I think as many, that teams need to do a better job with better coaching staffs.  Secondly, the bowl schedule setup for the big teams puts us at many disadvantages.  Our teams seem to always be lower seeded (our #4 team vs SEC #3 team etc..).  And last of all, I think all BIG teams need to drop ND off their schedules, they need us, we don't need them.