As I write this, Ohio State is about to take the field against an angry Texas Longhorns squad who could make a very solid argument for being in the championship game ahead of Oklahoma. Folks, Ohio State is about to get smoked like a blunt does by Cypress Hill. It's not going to be pretty. And, it will make the Big Ten 1-6 in bowl games (thanks for the win, Iowa). This is following several previous stinkfests put up by the Big Ten.
This makes me wonder if the Big Ten is ever going to cycle back up into the top conferences along with the Big 12 and the SEC. Now, I know that these things can be cyclical, but I think there are a couple of things standing against the Big Ten ever rising to prominence again:
Demographics: The Big Ten is largely located in states that are declining in importance. We are in the Rust Belt, and people with families are leaving in droves. We are getting older more quickly than the SEC states. While Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee will continue to grow with families, the Midwest and Pennsylvania are losing the game demographically. While Big Ten schools can sell tradition and beautiful campuses, they are far away from home. Also, they get cold. This will be more of a problem going forward.
Coaching: This is slowly changing, but the days of power football at the college level are over for the time being. Unless power football comes back into vogue, the Big Ten needs to adjust. It's starting to happen, with Wisconsin being the one holdout. But, it's going to take a few years. During that time, the Big Ten is probably going to continue to take beatings in bowl games. During that time, athletic directors are going to have to have patience, as well as the alumni. Patience is easy...as a Minnesota alumnus, I have been patient for many years.
So, my question to you is this: Is the Big Ten done as a power conference? I am not sure, but I am afraid that it may be the case.
UPDATE: I should clarify...what I mean is this: Will the Big Ten ever be at the level of the SEC and Big 12, or are we condemned to be like the Big East?