The Ohio State Buckeyes are the best of the Big Ten football conference. However, that is not saying much.
The recent BCS Top 25 has come out, and missing from that list are any Big Ten schools. That is truly an embarrassing abomination. How did it come to this? What has happened to our beloved Big Ten football?
When you listen to critics and pundits, many answers are given for the demise of Big Ten football. Some say that there has been a great migration of business and industry to the Sunbelt. Major corporations of the Midwest and North have moved corporate headquarters to the Southland. With these corporations have gone families with tremendous athletic talents and abilities. They have migrated to the South and now there is an overabundance of athletic prowess in that part of the country.
Maybe there is some truth to that.
Also, integration of major colleges and universities in the South have dramatically changed the football climate. Talent now abounds in the South because since the late '60s African-American athletes no longer have to travel to the North or West to play Division I college football. They can now stay right at home and play for Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Mississippi, etc.
Therefore, the talent pool has grown exponentially, and success breeds success. Programs like the aforementioned in the South are very attractive to student athletes anywhere in the U.S. because they're winning programs (and the warm climate doesn't hurt either). Baton Rouge or Evanston...where would you rather be in mid-November?
Schools like Ohio State, because of the strength of the brand and Urban Meyer, will continue to have a measure of success. Once Urban assembles the type of team he wants on the field, he'll be able to compete with schools like Alabama, LSU and USC.
The Big Ten will be forced to get better as time passes. As the conference loses money from not having teams in championship bowls, a higher standard will have to be met. Hopefully, the Big Ten conference will maintain integrity while endeavoring to get better.