One of the questions that has come up a lot in the past week or so has been about the impact that a beleaguered Ohio State -- a possibility given the potentially hefty NCAA sanctions on the horizon -- would have on the rest of the teams in the Midwest and nationally. What the recruiting impact will be is still unclear at this point, since we don't know exactly what the NCAA will come down with (or when sanctions would be levied). The cloud of potential sanctions, however, on top of a coaching search and a possible shakeup of the Buckeyes' athletic department, is bound to help a bunch of schools in recruiting against Ohio State.
I suspect that regardless of how hard the NCAA hits OSU, the Buckeyes will still land plenty of blue-chippers, especially in-state. Many kids grew up Buckeyes fans, have strong ties to the program and won't turn their backs on the chance to play for Ohio State, much in the same way that top recruits have continued to sign with the USC Trojans even amid their NCAA sanctions.
Some prospects, though, will be reluctant, especially if they fear they won't have the opportunity to play in bowl games for a portion of their careers, or sense they'll be playing for a hamstrung program. In addition, scholarship reductions would mean the Buckeyes would be bringing in a smaller class of recruits each year, and many prospects who would be Buckeyes in most years will end up someplace else.
Here is a list of the teams who figure to reap the biggest benefits on the recruiting trail: