The B1G-SEC contrast is overblown. The SEC is overhyped; we all know it. We're tired of it. I can't wait to hear about how Michigan's "brawn" will have trouble matching up to the "ESS EEE SEEE SPEEEED" in whatever bowl game we're in.
But there is one area in which the SEC clearly edges the B1G, and it's a huge, legit reason why the conference is consistently better than the B1G top-to-bottom: Mid-range SEC teams are willing to go to whatever lengths are necessary (perhaps, though a topic for another day, not entirely legal ones) to produce a winning football team. Mid-range B1G teams are not.
This has been exposed, again, by the poaching of Dino Babers by mid-major dumpster fire UCF.
You know, Dino Babers. Art Briles disciple, who has the potential to introduce to the B1G a style of football foreign enough that wins are a likelihood just because teams won't be able to adapt. Dino Babers, head coach of in-our-backyard Bowling Green. Dino Babers, who has more wins over B1G teams than... current, not-fired Purdue coach Darrell Hazell.
I mean, c'mon, Babers beat Hazell in his own barn this year. He has clearly assembled a better program in a small college in a small town most people don't believe really exists. Why is Hazell still at Purdue and Babers coaching in Florida for a non-power-5 school?
Because, aside from the big boys at the very top of our conference, Big Ten teams are little more than callow lawn ornaments on the national football landscape. They're gutless. A bit of a buyout (Hazell) and they won't pull the trigger. A suggestion of continuity (Tracey "wait let's fire all of our coordinators now that I'm in charge" Claeys and Bill "Mac retread who didn't totally embarrass himself" Cubit) and they can't help but stay the course. A guy with a nice personality or program familiarity (Mike Riley, Paul Chryst) and he's a sure hire.
The Big Ten isn't a disappointing conference because of talent drain or geography or NCAA bias or even cheating; it is a disappointing conference because half of the teams really don't care.
Dino Babers was in our backyard. He is 3-1 against B1G competition in the last two years. That he won't be on a B1G sideline next year is a travesty.