The Big Ten's 11-season national championship drought, coinciding with the SEC's ascent to the top of college football, has placed the spotlight on recruiting in both leagues.
SEC fans point to crystal footballs, surging population and dominance in the national recruiting rankings. Big Ten fans counter with criticisms of SEC oversigning, low academic standards and shady recruiting tactics.
And then we have Urban Meyer and James Franklin.
The two coaches serve as links between the leagues, as both came to the Big Ten from SEC programs. Both coaches also have brought different recruiting approaches to the Big Ten that many label as "SEC-style." Both coaches also have been very successful on the trail early in their Big Ten tenures.
Fans can quarrel all offseason about the recruiting differences between the leagues. But what do top recruits think?
Colleague Tom VanHaaren decided to find out, interviewing several prospects about the Big Ten and the SEC. It's a fascinating Insider piece that you should definitely check out.
I won't give too much away, but the comments by top defensive end recruit Jashon Cornell are particularly interesting. He attributes Franklin's and Meyer's recruiting success directly to their SEC roots.
"The Big Ten needs to recruit harder. They need to really go after the recruits they really need," Cornell said. "They have to hassle you a little bit, on you every single day. That makes recruits think the coaches really want me and I could go there because the coaches want me so bad. That's what the SEC does."
Cornell is from Big Ten country (St. Paul, Minn.) and has multiple scholarship offers from both Big Ten and SEC programs.
There's no doubt Big Ten coaching staffs devote time to recruiting. But are they working hard enough? Are they making the right sales pitch to bring in top players? Do head coaches have the right type of assistants to get it done on the trail?
Check out VanHaaren's piece and send me your thoughts.