Ohio State Football 2011: 5 Reasons Ohio-Michigan Recruiting Border Is Not Open
When Kyle Kalis did the unthinkable earlier this week—de-committing from the Ohio State football program, crossing the border and joining that school up north—many fans and "experts" felt the Ohio-Michigan border was opened.
I'm here to tell you why it was not.
With all of the negative publicity surrounding the Buckeyes, and with the NCAA's rulings set to be announced in August, there is definite uncertainty in recruits' eyes when thinking about committing to Ohio State.
Even with the uncertainty, the Ohio-Michigan border is still not open—and here are five reasons why.
5. Who Is Brady Hoke?
Michigan football fans are quick to attack Ohio State's signing of Luke Fickell, but who is Brady Hoke? Is he so much more qualified than Luke Fickell to run an elite football program?
Hoke was a long-time assistant coach before he landed his first head coaching job at Ball State, where he was successful, but it's not like the job offers were flying off the wall after his eight seasons there. In fact, he left Ball State to become the San Diego State head coach, where he won nine games last year.
Sure, he has more experience than Fickell, but let's get real for a minute. Not even Michigan fans knew who he was when they hired him, and he was not their first choice. Michigan wanted a big name, like Les Miles, but even a guy like Miles, with deep ties to Michigan, wanted nothing to do with the program.
4. Numbers Don't Lie
It's a known fact that the state of Ohio as a whole produces far more big-time college football prospects, and some Ohio recruits are inevitably going to go to Michigan for the simple reason of numbers.
Ohio State obviously dominates recruiting in Ohio, but it still recruits hard in other states like Florida and it simply is not going to be able to sign every Ohio recruit—the Buckeyes only have so many scholarships.
Look no further than the 2010 recruiting class for Michigan, where the Wolverines signed 11 players from the state of Ohio.
It's a numbers game, and the state of Ohio produces much more talent than the state of Michigan, so it's no shocker that some Ohio players will play their college ball as Wolverines and not as Buckeyes. After all, the University of Michigan is still a great school.
3. Recent History
Many fans of Michigan seem to think that, with all the off-the-field issues at Ohio State, the Wolverines are all of a sudden the team to fear in college football's most heated rivalry. But, in reality, they're losers of nine of the last 10 games (2,792 days) and they've been part of one of the biggest downfalls for an elite football program in resent memory.
Sure, Brady Hoke can use Ohio State scandals as recruiting tools, but Luke Fickell can use Ohio State's dominance of not only Michigan, but the entire Big Ten to his advantage.
Even with all the negative Ohio State talk this past offseason, the Buckeyes will still have the more talented team when the 2011 season kicks off.
2. The 2011 Class Is Still Looking Good
The 2012 recruiting class is looking good for the Buckeyes. Ohio State has verbal commitments from two of the top running backs in the country with Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball.
Dunn is the centerpiece of the Ohio State 2012 class. Throw in players like safety Devan Bogard and linebacker Joshua Perry and the Buckeyes could still knock out a 2012 recruiting class ranked in the top 25.
This offseason will be the toughest year head coach Luke Fickell will face on the recruiting front, and after a successful first season, recruiting for 2013 will come easier for Fickell and the Buckeyes.
1. This Is Still the Ohio State University
Everything aside, this is still The Ohio State University, and it is still one of college football's most elite programs—the Buckeyes are not going anywhere.
If fans outside of Buckeyes Nation are expecting to see a big-time downfall from Ohio State, they're going to be deeply disappointed.
Ohio State is deep at nearly every position, and it will have no problem this year when it is inserting guys like Etienne Sabino and Braxton Miller, who are eager to make their marks on the university.
With so much young talent, the Buckeyes will still compete for a Big Ten title this season, which bodes well for recruiting in the coming years.