Generally if you go down to the college football hotbed that is the southern portion of the United States of America and mention the Big Ten conference as being anywhere close to a legitimate threat, you’ll more than likely draw a bit of laughter from the die-hard SEC supporters.
In a visit recently to the state of Ohio for a fundraiser in Cincinnati, the unquestioned coaching king of the SEC, Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, was asked about his rival conference up north, although instead of laughter, he had nothing but praise.
“I think we have a little bit of an advantage when it comes to the recruiting base we have in the Southeast,” Saban told Cleveland.com. “But I think the Big Ten is a really good conference. And I want to be quoted on that.”
Okay, we’ll be honest, Saban did take at least one subtle jab at the B1G when he was asked how long it would take the conference to get anywhere near the dominant standards of the SEC.
“I’m going to be politically correct on this one,” Saban said, to more laughter.
In the original quote, Saban did mention just how much better the recruiting is in his region, and this is true, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that things can change in that department. Urban Meyer is already doing big things on the trail for the Ohio State Buckeyes, James Franklin has had an immediate recruiting impact in his short time at Penn State and Mark Dantonio, with just leading his team to a Rose Bowl victory, is slowly building Michigan State into an attractive place to come play football for high school blue-chippers.