Originally Posted by Sea Ray
I don't really disagree with much of what you've written including your first line. I've actually been railing on the Big Ten for a decade. I think you've identified some very real problems. I'd add recruiting. They're not getting the top recruits (with the exception of Ohio State). And you are correct that OSU would be in the BCS mix this year but that'd be due to their weak schedule and the weakness of the conference in general. Again OSU is not the problem. They need some competition
There are issues with the Big 10. I will leave OSU out of the discussion because for the most part they have been a top 5 program in the country since Cooper left. It helps that that Ohio has been a decent bed for college recruits.
Now to the main issues. If I were to rank programs I would say that Michigan, PSU, and Nebraska are all big time programs. The Rich Rod hire set Michigan back 5+ years. Guy was over his head, pissed too many UM people off, and recruited the type of player that made WVU successful in the Big East. PSU's issue was Paterno holding on for too long. Prior to the scandal they were a marquis destination but no one knew how long Paterno was going to stay and coaches used that against him. Paterno also wasn't on the front edge of innovation. He was Woody Hayes coaching in the 21st century.
Nebraska is struggling for an identity. I don't quite understand what direction they are going.
I think you can consider MSU and Wisconsin success stories over the past 5+ years. They don't have the big names like OSU or UM but have been rather successful in the B1G. For the most part other than OSU and Oregon (which I have a feeling the hammer will come down shortly) no team outside of the south or USC has been able to build a sustainable program.