honestly I would love for you or somebody to breakdown recruiting regionally for me. What makes no sense to me is how Michigan can be so mediocre in recruiting and people say “no one wants to spend their winter in Michigan” but apparently they do want to spend their winters in Columbus Ohio??? I don’t know much about the city. Like is there is something about the City that makes people want to freeze in the winter there as opposed to freezing in Michigan or Nebraska?? Because Ohio state is not struggling in recruiting.
Well, I'm no recruiting expert. Indeed, I spend my life trying to stay away from "this guy is the next Jim Brown", etc. However, a couple of things worth noting, the most obvious being the inclusion of Nebraska and Michigan together. It works in one sense but in another it doesn't.
1) Michigan is a state of 9.9 million people.
Ohio has about 1.5 million more than Michigan.
Basically, if you add Michigan's population with Nebraska's, you'll be close to even with Ohio. Nebraska has to recruit from other states with a base of about another 8.5 million folks just to draw even - and those 8.5 million are also being recruited by Texas and Florida State and USC and Oklahoma.
2) There's a MASSIVE difference between being at a university in the middle of a cornfield state with nothing else and being a 42-minute shuttle ride to Detroit.
Even if you don't count Detroit, there's more folks and a whole lot more to do besides count corn kernels and talk about how good you used to be.
3) Michigan has to share their bounty with Michigan State....and Wisconsin as well.
So you have fewer in-state people and have to share them with Sparty, which also lowers your recruiting base. And remember this, too - the Upper Peninsula of Michigan folks TEND TO BE GREEN BAY AND WISCONSIN fans even though they are in the state border of Michigan. I've known several from "da UP" as they call it, and every one of them is a Green Bay Packers fan.
4) Ohio made better inroads to Pennsylvania, which borders Ohio but not Michigan
And Pennyslvania is another 12.8 million folks. For many years, Ohio State was able to cut right across the border into PA back when Penn State was an independent and bring folks who wanted to go to Rose Bowl TV games to Columbus.
5) Ohio and PA have what might be the two best high school programs in America or at least up north.
For many years, the nation's best high school team was Moeller High in Cincinnati, so good that Notre Dame decided to hire the Moeller coach (Gerry Faust) in one of the most disastrous picks since Lincoln picked Andrew Johnson as his running mate in 1864. Both states have VERY GOOD high school programs, another advantage to Ohio State
6) The winter weather argument.....is..........
I think the point being made is this. You're not going to get (nowadays) a Mike Rozier from Jersey to go across the country to Nebraska and spend his time in the winter nest there WITH NOTHING TO DO OTHERWISE. It's not so much the "it's cold" as it is "it's cold AND THERE'S NOTHING TO DO." In Ohio, by contrast, well, the Columbus metro area is about one million folks or so. And Cincinnati is a little over 100 miles away. It's about twice that long to Kansas City if you're in Nebraska, though.
7) The reality is that Michigan is the most overrated program (historically) in the history of college football, so we should actually lower our expectations to what they are rather than what they could be.
For years I've heard Michigan is a big deal. For years I've wondered why this is a given.
The pretense of "Michigan is a big deal" goes back to a few things:
a) they've won the most games of all the big schools (but they've played the 6th most)
b) they won the Big Ten a bunch of times in the 70s (before scholarship restrictions)
c) the guys covering CFB are my age and recall Michigan as a "big name"
For starters, they barely have the most wins. Alabama would only trail them by six but for the old "vacated wins" nonsense (and I've never seen a single instance of a team going back and "uncelebrating" a game they won). Three teams (Ohio State, Alabama, and Notre Dame) have better winning percentages but have played fewer games.
Michigan had some dominant teams in the early days of CFB back when Fielding Yost was coaching and the forward pass was years in the future. But here's a reality for you: since 1947 - the year after my mother was born - AUBURN has as many national titles as Michigan does. Is Auburn some sort of all-time great school, the perennial 8-4 team? Are they legendary? PENN STATE has as many as Michigan. Is Penn State some alternative universe program?
LSU has THREE since Michigan last won a title despite playing in a much tougher conference. Is LSU some next-level legendary program?
Hell, Clemson has three since 1981. Is Clemson some all-time great program?
The continued exaltation of UM above accomplishment will never cease to amaze me. Texas and Michigan should meet every December in the Historically Most Overrated Bowl (aka the HMO Bowl).