I think we may have seen this effect sooner had teams like UC, Illinois(who isn't very good but Zook has recruited like crazy) and other northern schools been able to crack the wall sooner. I think if you go back to say 2000, Michigan, tOSU, and tPSU were the big three in the Great Lakes region, and there was no true dominant team in the Upper Plains(Kansas, Nebraska, etc.)
So while the SEC teams may have had more local talent, the migration of people started much sooner, there were more SEC(and southern Big 12) schools competing for the talent. You had Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee was still very relevant, Auburn would go undefeated and Texas and Oklahoma were on the western edge of the Sun Belt to scalp off anyone else.
As the decade progressed, schools like Louisville, than UC, and others became much bigger players for local talent, and tOSU and Michigan could no longer reliably pick up any player with talent in it's own region.
This sentence surprised me.It's not just population decreases. In my hometown area of Central Ohio, voters vote down most tax levies. So many districts there have been forced to go with pay-to-play, which has cut the number of kids going out for football. Some once-strong programs there are now struggling to win 3 games a season. There are definitely fewer kids in that area playing football. It must not be that way all over the state.According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association, the number of schools sponsoring football in the past decade effectively stayed steady (720 in 2008-09, up from 708 in 1998-99) but the number of students playing football rose by 30 percent to more than 55,000.
Wear gaudy colors, or avoid display. Lay a million eggs or give birth to one. The fittest shall survive, yet the unfit may live. Be like your ancestors or be different. We must repeat!
I wouldn't call Massillon an afterthought. They're a consistent playoff team and every few years they make a deep run. I think they even played in a title game recently. Massillon is still one of the most successful public high school programs in the big school Ohio division. All divisions really. After Coldwater and Marion Local, not many public schools in Ohio have the consistent success of Massillon.
"I saw Wedding Crashers accidentally. I bought a ticket for Grizzly Man and went into the wrong theater. After an hour, I figured I was in the wrong theater, but I kept waiting. Thatís the thing about bear attacks. They come when you least expect it."-Dwight K. Schrute
It has more to do with the invention and development of computers and video game systems. In my opinion of course.
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