When the dust settled on National Signing Day, the SEC thoroughly and completely embarrassed the Big 10. The SEC placed 11 teams in the final Top 25 recruiting rankings as determined by Rivals.com, with the No. 1 overall spot being claimed yet again by the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The Big 10, on the other hand, placed three teams in the Rivals Top 25 rankings; Ohio State at No. 2, Michigan at No. 5, and Nebraska at No. 17. The next-highest team ranking was Michigan State at No. 38 (although I supposed they could technically claim Maryland at No. 31 to save a bit of face). With the exception of the three teams mentioned, the entire Big 10 conference was out recruited by Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. In football.
Urban Meyer is none too pleased about the recruiting situation in the Big 10, and he took to sports radio to express his frustrations, telling 97.1 The Fan that he intends to give his fellow conference coaches a stern talking to at their next meeting.
It is more than a little ironic that the hyper-competitive environment in the SEC that drove Meyer to retire, unretire, then retire again is what he thinks the Big 10 needs to emulate. When a one voluntarily decides to sit at the kiddie table, it seems odd that he would then complain about the quality of the beans and franks being served. I suppose it is much easier to puff out your chest and act like a schoolyard bully when you no longer have Nick Saban, Les Miles, and Steve Spurrier staring back at you. Meyer’s situation would be akin to LeBron James leaving the Miami Heat to join the Japanese league, then subsequently demanding that all the other players grow nine inches taller to give him more of a challenge.
Meyer’s message is clear: the same old same old just isn’t going to fly anymore. The Indianas, Purdues, Northwesterns and Minnesotas of the world are going to have to get better about recruiting. The abysmal product the Big 10 has been putting out for years will no longer be tolerated. Meyer is demanding that the rest of the conference step up and get on his level. Well, not exactly on his level. A notch or two below his level would be preferable, so as Meyer can continue to run through the conference with little opposition. After all, if the competition gets too stiff, the old ticker might just start acting up again and force another retirement.