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2009 Talent Analysis Part V- The Conferences #5 BigTen

Thus far we’ve established that the SEC has the best kids, and that the ACC, Big XII and Pac 10 are all basically even in the talent pool. Now here’s where we see the first really significant drop off. Apologies to all you Big 10 homers out there but these numbers aren’t going to help you defend your conference at the water cooler. Truly the land of the have’s and have nots the Big 10 is home to two teams with Elite Talent, a handful of middle of the road teams and a few that are just brutal.

Elite Talent
Ohio State at 9.2- It’s a lot easier to win the conference every year when you have the best kids. Overall coaching and program health are pretty good.
Michigan at 9.4- Rich Rodriguez has never had this type of talent at his disposal and once he gets his spread system fully installed the Wolverines could be very dangerous. The system is very QB dependent and two highly touted incoming freshmen are expected to compete for the job. Once one of them cracks the code it might be game on in Ann Arbor. Losing Terrelle Pryor to Ohio State in 2008 was a crucial setback that probably cost them 2 years of competing at a high level. The question is will the Michigan faithful be patient enough to wait it out?

Good Talent
Penn State at 24.4- Significant drop off from Ohio State & Michigan, with no real trend. Class rankings are all over the map & Joe Pa is a figurehead at this point. As for the Spread HD creating a schematic advantage, not so much.
Illinois at 30- The Zooker can recruit and that’s about it. With their coaching and progam health the Illini have a ceiling of about 8 wins.

The Rest
Michigan State, Iowa & Wisconsin all in the mid to high 30s- These three teams are all very similar. Good coaching and decent program health all around. All three will give you a solid 8 win season followed by a bowl loss.
Minnesota & Purdue at 49.6 & 54.2 respectively- These two are headed in opposite directions. Minnesota has stepped up the recruiting the last two years and appears to be on a good upward trend. Purdue’s recruiting has slipped further every year for five years straight and was capped with a brutal class ranking of 74 this season. Danny Hope will have to try and pull this one out of the fire especially with DC Brock Spack’s departure.
Northwestern & Indiana at 63.4 & 75.2 respectively- Pat Fitzgerald and his crew do more with less and actually compete at a decent level with great execution from very intelligent players. Indiana is hopeless. Stick with the hoops IU!