Cold War

April 20th, 2013 at 9:18 AM ^

Stop it with Penn State. They're a couple of years from bottoming out with the sanctions. And they won't be fully out from under them for at least six years.


April 20th, 2013 at 11:24 AM ^

That's right.

As a reminder, here are Penn State's sanctions:

* No postseason games and no B1G bowl payout for 4 years (2012-2015).
* $12M fine plus probation each year for 5 years (2012-2016).
* Maximum 15 freshman scholarships each year for 4 years (2013-2016).
* Maximum 65 total scholarships each year for 4 years (2014-2017).

The biggest blow to Penn State's competitiveness, the 20 scholarship total reduction, does not even kick in until the 2014 season and lasts through 2017.  They will probably not have a full complement of scholarship-quality players until 2020 or 2021.


April 20th, 2013 at 11:20 AM ^

The divisions are fairly balanced for now.  If this is short term, I'm happy with it.  But Penn State isn't going to be down forever, and I'm not entirely sure that Wisconsin is going to still be great 10 and 20 years down the road.  What about Northwestern once Fitzgerald is gone?  Are they the slightest threat to win the Big 10 a decade or two from now?  For that matter, I'm not even sure Nebraska is built to compete with Michigan and ohio when both programs are firing on all cylinders.  There will come a time where, if left in the current allignment, the East will far outperform the West.  Although that is hilarious for sparty haters, it does make things difficult for anyone trying to win the East, and winning the West will largely come down to who you avoid from the East.


It's probably all a moot point since we'll be adding more programs in the near future.  But as all of those teams are likely to come from the east, I'm still not sure how a true, geographically divided West will ever compare to a division with Michigan, ohio, and a non-sanctioned Penn State.  At some point, it seems like we'll either have to give up on a geographic division or content ourselves with having one division be much stronger than the other.


April 20th, 2013 at 12:18 PM ^

Nebraska is 9th in all-time winning percentage, 4th in all-time wins ahead of Ohio. Over the last fifty years they're first in both. Over the stretch from 1969-1997 their worst season was three losses. In one stretch they finished in the top ten 19 years in a row.

You could just as plausibly argue that Michigan and Ohio State might not be built to compete with Nebraska when the Huskers are firing on all cylinders.

"Just as plausibly" meaning not at all plausibly, obviously. But any suggestion that Nebraska hasn't been in the very top class of national football powers is laughable.


April 20th, 2013 at 1:33 PM ^

Yes, they are (were?) elite.  I wonder if they can keep it up now that it is much harder for them to recruit Texas since they won't be playing any games down there.  Bo Pelini sniffing around Ohio for Meyer/Hoke/Dantonio scraps does not seem to be a viable replacement for Texas recruiting.



April 20th, 2013 at 3:00 PM ^

...was done without games in Texas. The Big 8 didn't expand until 1996.

Take a look at their 1971 roster, probably their best team ever.

There wasn't a single player from Texas and almost no one in the Big 8 footprint outside Nebraska. Outside of half a dozen California kids and some bits and scraps from full-scale national recruiting, the whole roster is from what's currently the B1G, including five from IL and 7 from MI.


April 21st, 2013 at 11:48 AM ^

College football has changed an awful lot in a short period of time.  There were several factors that combined to allow Nebraska to have the type of success they had in the 90's, many of which are no longer available.  Nebraska was running the option when most other teams had abandoned it, making them THE place to be if you wanted to play that style of football at a high level.  They had a legendary coach that was there for a long, long time.  And it was an era where recruits chose where they'd play with prestige and tradition as a primary determining factor much more often than now.  I think recruiting has changed, and I think Nebraska has lost some of what once made it uniquely appealing.  That doesn't mean they can't keep winning a lot of games.  But I believe Michigan and ohio are more attractive destinations for most elite recruits for a variety of reasons, and on top of that (for the time being, anyway) have better coaching staffs.

I could easily be wrong here, and any big program is really just one great coach away from being a powerhouse.  But right now if I'm judging Big 10 programs based on apparent ceilings, there's the Big Two and everyone else.  I think the era in which Nebraska was a top two or three program overall are behind us.

One final note:  As far as "firing on all cylinders" goes, I'm not sure that most of us have ever seen Michigan firing on all cylinders, though we may once this staff has had a full recruiting cycle.  We may have seen it for a brief period from Carr, and maybe early in Bo's career (though many of us weren't around for that.)  But at best, the late 90's were the last time we were anywhere close to realizing our full potential as a program.  So when I talk about Nebraska having a tough time keeping up, I'm talking about coaching, recruiting, and developing at a top five-ish level annually, because IMO that's where we'll be if everything comes together.  Perennial national contenders, with NFL prospects on both sides of the ball playing in NFL-type systems.  I don't know that Nebraska's program in it's current state shows any signs of having that type of potential.  Again, one great coaching hire may change all that.


April 26th, 2013 at 2:52 PM ^

Never mind that I was talking about fifty years of excellence, not a single decade in the 90s. You claim there's no evidence that the Nebraska of the present is top-level B1G material...but here are the conference records since they joined:

  1. Michigan 12-4
  2. Nebraska 12-4
  3. Penn State 12-4
  4. Ohio State 11-5
  5. Michigan State 10-6
  6. Wisconsin 10-6
  7. Northwestern 8-8
  8. Purdue 7-9
  9. Iowa 6-10
  10. Minnesota 4-12
  11. Illinois 2-14
  12. Indiana 2-14

Looks like they're keeping up OK to me, so far.

But of course the real problem with this kind of analysis is that it looks at objective facts, and what you really seem to want to do is compare other schools to your wet-dream fantasy of  a Michigan future at a level that no school in the history of college football has ever been able to maintain. Nobody's "top-five-ish annually." It's very rare for any school to even average ten wins/season over a decade or more.

Tha Quiet Storm

April 20th, 2013 at 11:45 AM ^

"We weren't going to go with 'Bo or Woody,' 'Black or Blue,' or 'Plains or Lakes,'" Delany said. "Obviously we got some acceptance [with Legends and Leaders], but not as much as we would have liked."

"Some acceptance" = Delany and his marketing firm and no one else.


April 20th, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^

is that the eastern part of the country and its recruits get opened up to Michigan and Ohio this way, and then maybe the best recruits in the western part of the conference maybe trickle up some to Nebraska and Wisconsin. So, maybe more Illinois kids drift out that way, as well as Minnesota and such.


April 20th, 2013 at 3:55 PM ^

I'm glad Michigan is in the East division, for recruiting purposes.  In the traditional Big Ten footprint, we'll still be able to recruit well, and having Maryland and Rutgers on the schedule every year should help increase recruiting in those and surrounding areas.  


April 20th, 2013 at 5:44 PM ^

Anyone else hoping when they redo the schedules Nebraska gets another welcome to the Big Ten and gets OSU back on the cross-division games AGAIN? Or both of us?