As we discussed yesterday, the SEC is dominating recruiting. We also discussed how Urban Meyer made a recent quote about how the Big Ten needs to catch up to the SEC as a conference with regards to recruiting top talent.
“I don’t know enough about what goes on in the other programs. I know I have a lot of respect for the tradition and their historical success they’ve had,” Meyer said. “But we do need, as a conference, to keep pushing that envelope to be better.
“And I think all our conversations, we’re going to have a Big Ten meeting here in a week … and our whole conversation needs to be, ‘how do we recruit?’ When you see 11 of the SEC teams in the top 25 in recruiting, that is something we need to continue to work on and improve.”
Most fans and media members glanced over these statements, because frankly, they’re accurate. But, upon further reflection, it’s worth asking what the motive of such statements really is.
Why would Urban Meyer want his competition to get better talent? Doesn’t it benefit Ohio State to have an easier path to the conference championship?
Is Urban simply concerned about Big Ten perception?
Perhaps, Urban knows strength of schedule will be important in the upcoming playoff selection criteria?
I tend to believe it is more about conference perception. The reality is that an undefeated Ohio State Big Ten Champion is going to get into a 4-team playoff. In most cases, a one-loss Ohio State Big Ten Champion will get in as well.
Urban not only wants to lead the resurgence of the Buckeyes but also the resurgence of the Big Ten. For the Big Ten to get back on top as the top conference in college football, it will take not only Ohio State but a few teams to make some waves on the national scene.
Alabama has been on top recently, but let’s not forget that four different SEC teams have won the BCS Championship in the last seven years. Had Aaron Murray not had his ball tipped in the Georgia Dome this past December, it may have been a fifth SEC team.
Conference pride is a fairly recent phenomenon – at least in its current form. Big Ten fans are tired of hearing about the SEC, and you know Big Ten coaches are as well. It’s ironic that Urban Meyer played a role in the SEC run with his two titles at Florida, but coaches coach in the present, and presently, Meyer is leading the Buckeyes. While he likely has some emotional connection with the University of Florida, he doesn’t have an emotional attachment to the SEC because of his Big Ten/Ohio roots.
Urban Meyer wants to de-throne the SEC, and it’s not just enough to have Ohio State on top of the polls. He wants the Big Ten on top of college football with Ohio State on top of the Big Ten.
Urban is relentless, and he’ll call out his fellow coaches if it helps accomplish his goals.