After one year of running roughshod over his Midwest contemporaries, apparently Urban Meyer is already sooooo over everything to do with the Big Ten.
Either that, or he’s just plain tired of beating everybody up.
Whatever the case, Meyer took the radio airwaves on Thursday and bellowed out a message loud and clear to the rest of the conference: It’s time to step your game up.
Below is what Meyer said to Columbus radio station 97.1 The Fan on Thursday morning:
Urban Meyer tells 97.1 The Fan he will address the poor recruiting in the B1G directly with those coaches at the upcoming coaches meeting.— jbook (@jbook37) February 7, 2013
Meyer tells the fan it's concerning about the lack of B1G recruiting when there are 11 teams in the SEC up in the top 25 in recruiting.— jbook (@jbook37) February 7, 2013
This news- if it is in fact news- comes on the heels of Meyer’s second Signing Day in Columbus, which went about as well as anyone could’ve planned.
The Buckeyes finished with the No. 2 class in the country overall, and maybe more impressive than the sheer amount of talent that Meyer and his staff accumulated, was how they went about acquiring it. As I mentioned in yesterday’s Signing Day Recap, Meyer was able to get a land a bunch of guys he wanted early, sealing up commitments from some like Mike Mitchell, Trey Johnson and Cameron Burrows months before Signing Day. He then focused the final few frenzied weeks closing on a couple of the biggest names left on the board, including four-star Texas running back Dontre Wilson and five-star safety Vonn Bell.
It’s safe to say that all is well in Columbus. At the same time, all is not well everywhere else across the Big Ten, where only Michigan finished with a Top 15 class nationally, and only the Buckeyes, Wolverines and Nebraska finished in the Top 30. If we really want to push the envelope, Maryland- which will join the Big Ten in the coming years- did finish No. 30 overall.
Still, that sorry display of recruiting inefficiency simply isn’t good enough for Meyer who apparently will make his voice heard loud and clear when the conference coaches get together this spring.
Now, there are a couple things here, the first being that Wednesday’s recruiting numbers are a tiny bit misleading. Understand that Penn State- which traditionally recruits well- was obviously hampered by scholarship reductions, and Wisconsin was slowed by a late coaching switch. With minimal roster turnover, Michigan State only had 18 scholarships to give out. It has to be assumed that in subsequent years both the Badgers and Spartans will have higher ranked classes than they did this year.
At the same time, Meyer’s concern does make sense.
Understand that when Meyer signed up to come to Columbus, he didn’t do it with the intention of winning Big Ten Championships. He came to Columbus to collect crystal balls, just like he- and his contemporaries- did, and continue to do in the SEC.
As best we can tell though, the problem lies in the following: If the Big Ten doesn’t bring in good players, they’re not going to produce good teams. And if they don’t produce good teams, it’s going to make it harder to get teams into the eventual four-team college football playoff in two years. And even if they get there, it’ll make harder for them to compete, especially against schools from the SEC (and to a smaller degree Pac-12) that are recruiting at a higher-level and playing a higher-brand of football right now.
Basically, Meyer is looking out for the overall health of the conference. Or at least that’s the image he wants to portray publicly anyway.
Of course whether Meyer actually takes these concerns to the Big Ten meetings or not, only time will tell. Maybe the mere threat of upsetting King Urban will be enough for fellow Big Ten coaches to quake in their heels and pick up their recruiting games.
Actually, you know what might be a better motivator for those Big Ten coaches?
Rather than Meyer simply berating the other coaches, it might be in his best interests to just keep kicking their butts.
After all, what’s a better motivator than getting your brains beaten in by the Buckeyes every year?
Nothing I can think of.
For all his opinion, analysis and insight on college football, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.
Follow Crystal Ball Run on Twitter @CrystalBallRun.
Problem is, that when you end up in the National Championship game against ANY of the top 5 or 6 SEC teams after racking up 'PRETEND' stats in a very weak Big-10,, they end up a laughing stock just like ND was this last year...
ND played a pretty tough schedule, and not all B1G teams, and somehow won them all. It won some without showing much dominance.
If you saw ND play USC, who started a freshman, first-time starter QB, you would never have bet ND against Alabama.
What is coming is a playoff of sorts, and the NDs won't make the final game.
I don't think Urban is incorrect. He should push for a stronger conference. But the top has always been OSU and Michigan, and to some extent, Penn State. That may not change.
The fact is that a disproportionally large share of Div. 1 players grow up in the South, particularly Florida. So, the SEC has a built-in advantage.
We haven't heard the last of ND, or OSU, or Michigan. They are all recruiting very well.
The conference has historically been referred to as the Big 2 and Little 8. Penn State is crippled right now. Nebraska must survive on out-of-state recruits, which is tough.
So, nothing has changed much. Ohio State or Michigan or, in four years, Penn State, should prevail almost every year. Really, all conferences with the possible exception to the SEC display qualities that are a least a little similar to the B1G.
Hey Urban...Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan...
Guess I owe you a bunch of pushups now, huh? GO BLUE!!!
This guy has been in the conference for one season and already he's the the king? Get real. This team had no pressure on them last year because they had nothing to play for. Much harder for them to have gone undefeated had they not had the sanctions. He'll get his 4 and 5 star recruits, just as THE Ohio State University always has. Time will tell if this group translates onto the gridirion. In the meantime, Big Ten trolls gonna troll so hard. Real groundbreaking earth-shattering journalism here folks. Facepalm.
@samblaydon Isn't there a saying that "someone is king until you knock them off the throne?" Well, I don't care if Wisconsin won the conference or not, Ohio State is now king of the conference until someone knocks them off the throne.
What will be interesting to see is if, as you said, how the Buckeyes handle the pressure of being top dog in the conference now. As you said, there was no pressure on them at all during the 2012 season (although it's still a credit to Urban Meyer to get them fired up each and every week to come out and play), but I think what people don't realize is how much talent they really did lose off their defense. Guys were lost on all three levels, including several All-Big Ten caliber players.
And as for your comment about real "earth-shattering journalism" here, well, that's not what we're trying to provide. At least not with this article.
If you want more "earth-shattering journalism" maybe this is more your speed: http://www.bloguin.com/crystalballrun/site/ohio-state-signing-day-2013-mike-mitchell-story.html
Oh boy. Prolly need to stop blogging if you are going to be so annoyed by message board posters. Aaron, whether anyone agrees with your opinion or not, you gave it, it is fine and you don't have to respond to responders...
Let the message board trolls freak out and argue your points back and forth. Or you will age much too fast, as you argue with stupid.