B1G Has Fallen and Cannot Get Up

I grew up in B1G Country- my sister went to Wisconsin, my mom went to Iowa.  I always thought that the Big Ten was the dominating athletic conference in the country, in both football and basketball.  Moving out of the Midwest really opened my eyes to see that although the Big Ten rakes in a lot of money, they don’t being to stack up against conferences like the SEC or PAC-12.  The conference isn’t turning its revenue into on-field success.  There is talent in the Big Ten, it is just concentrated in a few teams, namely Ohio State, Penn State, and Nebraska.

The problem isn’t in the coaching- the conference in bringing in great talent and making sure that they stick around.  Of the top ten highest paid coaches in the NCAA, four of them are Big Ten coaches.  However, if we look at the salary ranking of assistant coaches, only two of them make the top ten list.

Let’s look at the B1G history with the NFL Draft.  ESPN did a great job of listing the first-round picks of the B1G Teams in the past decade- besides Penn State and Ohio State, the rest are embarrassingly low.  To be fair though, half of Penn State’s numbers came from one year alone.  Also, the Big Ten Conference just added Rutgers and University of Maryland to the mix.  And although I currently live in Terrapin territory, I have to say that this addition is diluting the conference.  These two schools have mediocre football programs that aren’t going win any titles anytime soon.

It seems as though the Big Ten is taking a permanent backseat to stronger conferences, and must get its competitive streak back.  It needs use its funds to recruit stronger talent, that will enhance alumni relations and increase donations.  It also needs to boost its assistant coach program to create a better staff that will foster improvement.


-Charlie Elwart